Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lousy With Postcards

Photograph by Nicole Holt

I have to admit that I'm lousy with postcards.

Function: adjective

1. Miserably poor or inferior.
2. Amply Supplied.

When you move, you end up sorting through a lot of things that you haven't thought about in a long time. During my latest move, I found several caches of postcards that I have accumulated from my travels around the world.

I really like postcards. There are several things about the format that I enjoy. The size forces you to practice brevity in your writing, and, oddly enough, there is much to be said about brevity. Planning what you want to say and choosing your words carefully become a matter of practicality rather than just something that we should all do more often.

Writing postcards utilizes the dying art of handwritten correspondence. With so many modern forms of written communication: e-mail, texting and instant messaging, it’s no wonder that I find that one of the few times that I sit down to actually write on paper is when I’m writing postcards. The feeling of putting ink on paper is one of the simple pleasures in life that appears to be going by the wayside; writing postcards helps preserve that tradition.

Postcards also turn our focus onto someone else for a few minutes. Be it a neglected friend or a distant family member, postcards remind us to think of others.

I’m not a great photographer, so postcards let me capture a little bit of the area in an easy and convenient way. Postcards give us an instant glimpse into the areas that we visit. Sure it’s the distilled, touristy version of things, but people on the receiving end of the postcards usually don’t want to see something depressing when they check their mail. I did recently send a postcard of two people being devoured by a dragon, but within the context of what was written and to whom it was sent, I think it was fine.

So, with all of these great things that postcards have to offer you'd probably think that I would regularly send out lots of postcards, right? Not so. While I'm really good at buying postcards, I'm also lousy at sending postcards. These two facts have manifested in the merging of several stashes of postcards that I uncovered during my recent move to the Boston area.

If I had to guess, I’d say that I have somewhere in the area of 200 neglected postcards from around the world. My favorite of the lot is a postcard that I picked up on a trip to Taiwan:

The postcard above can be mailed, cut up into pieces and assembled into a small model. Mostly, the postcards were of famous buildings, but I couldn’t resist this one of a monkey.

Postcards are a great way to let people know that you are thinking of them and a great way to remember a trip. I'm going to try to be better about sending them, but I have a feeling that my stash of postcards is going to continue to grow.
Photograph by Nicole Holt

Do you have a similar pile of postcards that mocks you each time you glance in its direction?

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1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness! I definitely collect postcards unwillingly then when I move I am, like, wow, where did these come from and who did I intend to send this to in the first place!