I always find myself buying beautiful note cards. They're so tempting, with their captivating pictures, and blank insides - ready for whatever one might have to say. The problem is, I hardly ever use them. I mean to, and I plan to, and I occasionally actually do, but almost never through the mail. I think about writing people letters, about what I have to say, but I rarely sit down and write. Often, because it seems like so much to say, and then the next time I think about it, there's that much more to say. So much to say, it paralyzes me into not saying anything at all.
I read an article a few weeks ago that made think about the magic of the mail, and how we don't need to say everything we ever wanted to say, just to send a letter. The article was actually about a Twitter by Post experiment - the author spent a month writing postcards of everything he usually would have posted to Twitter. He described the experiment, included pictures of his postcard "tweets" and then about halfway through the author wrote:
"Back when people wrote letters, they didn’t have to be the long catch-ups that people tend to write today. We write long letters now because we hardly write letters at all, so we feel obliged to make them something special, to pad them out with lots of news. This makes them long and tedious to write, which means we’re disinclined to write letters; so we don’t write any at all..."
That made me stop and think. Already I had felt inspired to send people things in the mail. There is something so special about opening your mailbox and finding something in there someone sent just for you...not a catalog or a bill or junk. But a card or note. Usually I only find those in mail box around Christmas, my birthday and the occiaionsal wedding invitation. How nice would it be to make other people mailboxes sparkle at random? And it wouldn't to be anthing long, or insightful or news worthy, just a card, a brief hello.
I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but this year I am. By the end of 2012, this box of cards will be gone. Sent to friends and relatives, hopefully bringing a smile to their face as they open their mailbox and find an unexpected surprise. I'm planning to work my way through my address book, what is left of an address book (maybe I need a new one?). If you think I don't have your real world address, and you'd like to receive a note from me, please email, Direct Message me, send me a message on Facebook, whatever medium is easiest for you. In the spirit of things, you don't ned to say anything, just write out your address.
This evening after work, I stopped by the post office and got my first book of stamps. I will certainly need more, but it is a good place to start.