Slice of Life: Postcards from the Present

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge for March, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We are writing each day about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

sol16Most days, our mailbox is a real snore. Not much mail and what there is is usually bills or advertisement stuffers. Or magazines. (Ok, so magazines are not boring and I do get a burst of excitement when a new magazine is delivered.)

But since last summer, I have come to expect to find postcards in my mailbox every now and then, and it is just such a treat and surprise to be sorting through the mail to find a postcard from a friend from the CLMOOC (Making Learning Connected MOOC).  (I once wrote about this project at Medium, if you are interested.)

I hold the postcards in my hand, read their writing and analyze their loops and swirls of words — the physical act of writing itself  — and closely examine the artwork on the other side.

I’m looking form, and find, the essence of my friends in the postcards. I’m wondering what they were thinking as they composed the writing or art itself, and I appreciate the time they spent not just writing, but also mailing it out into the world. We can write an email or a text or a tweet in mere seconds and it disappears, without even really thinking about it. Just .. poof … it’s gone. But a postcard or a letter .. that requires more of your attention, and in that attention span, there is something to be said about friendship. You have to care in order to spend the time with the writing, however brief.

Postcards from Karen and Sarah

Yesterday, I received a postcard from my friend, Sarah, in Scotland, so the postcard came covered in Air Mail stickers, and inside was this beautiful postcard with some of her woven, knitted work, wishing me a Happy Easter. Good timing, Sarah! (Sarah once knitted me a hat and sent it to me from Scotland.)

And another postcard from Karen has arrived earlier. Hers referenced “Food as Art” — a theme that we were sort of exploring in yet another writing space in recent weeks. And on the back of the postcard, Karen wished me a pleasant Spring with friend and food and fire.

I’ve sent out a few rounds of postcards since last summer (including a slow-moving poetry project that became a game of sorts, with poems and images and other media on a Padlet wall) but it is feeling like it might be time again to make connections beyond the screen, and sent forth a few scribbles to let my CLMOOC friends know our words matter, as does our reaching out beyond the social spaces where we connect.

Maybe Slice of Life could do something similar …

Peace (on the postcard),

  1. Letter writing is a lost art, and it is so sad. How wonderful that your friends keep this tradition alive. You’ve inspired me to sit down and write a letter to my sister today. Thanks, Kevin!


  2. Thanks for the reminder of actual writing’s power, in comparison to virtual writing. Something to be said for the tangible and tactile, the time spent marshaling these real resources for relaying a message.

  3. I read your post, and it made me wonder if my grandkids will save my texts and emails. I don’t think so. I say that because one of my most treasured possessions is a small box of letters and cards hand-written or typed (old typewriter) from my father to me while I was in college. He unexpectedly passed 2 months after my graduation. When my mother passed, I received her box of hers and my dad’s courtship correspondence. What a treasure! I would recognize my parents’ handwriting in a minute. Funny, I wonder if my kids would recognize mine.

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