Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Card Someone

A former student of mine sends me (and others) postcards now and then as part of her own "Postcard Project."  Sometimes the brief message is a non sequitur, sometimes it's a sweet greeting, and sometimes it's an update on her life or inquiry into mine.   

My creative friend is a poet, editor, and "stationer"--see her line of cards and paper here.  She's inspired me to send her some postal love in return, so before the holidays I bought a set of 100 "Postcards from Penguin," featuring book covers from the publishing house.  I am setting aside a few minutes--on Monday mornings in particular--to send off a couple cards each week. 

To initiate your own postcard project, you need only a roll of postcard stamps, a stack of postcards (you may even have some squired away somewhere), and an inclination to snail mail someone from time to time.  It feels good, I tell you!  And it's cheap and easy.  I've enjoyed looking for the right card to match the right sentiment for the right person (for example, the postcard featuring the cover of the novel 1984 went to my best friend, with some thoughts on what "Big Brother" might have seen if he were watching us back when we were in 7th grade). 

If you need more immediate gratification than sending postcards to friends and hoping they'll respond in kind, check out Postcrossing or The Postcard Project.  My former student introduced me to Postcrossing, and in high school she was one of the students intrigued by PostSecret, a website which publishes postcards created and sent by anonymous contributors revealing secrets (watch out:  it's a voyeuristic window into rooms that are usually locked...).

If you're feeling really crafty, make your own postcard and mail it.  And if you're feeling creative, go all metaphorical and "send" a postcard from a figurative place (as I had my creative writing students do).  Think about where you are right now, and where you could write from (for example, to my forty-something self, from my self in college).  What would you tell your now self from your then self?  What would your now self tell your future self?  You could also write from inside your brain or heart, from "in limbo," from dire straits, from the crossroads... 

Anyway, I would keep some postcard stamps handy.  Just sayin'. 

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