Update: This project has been finished, and I would like to thank everyone who took time to participate in it.
I’ve admitted this before, I’m terrible at maintaining contact with friends and family. I believed that email was the solution, it’s so quick and convenient. On the other hand it’s easily forgotten, and quickly buried under Facebook updates, Tweets, and other random digital junk. Digital can be easier, but not better.
Let me ask you a quick question, when was the last time you looked forward to opening your postbox? If you are like me checking the mail has become a chore. I am no longer excited to run down to check the mail, who gets excited for bills and mailers addressed to occupant? I’d like for this to change.
First let me start with a secret. I’ve been having a love affair, a ménage à trios of sorts; me, a pen, and paper. Sure my handwriting is frightful, although it’s never been that legible. I feel more satisfied flipping through my journals searching for something I wrote than searching a hard drive. And … I hesitate to say it, but this has also been … sensual.
I feel the writing, in the weight of the pen, the itch in the dimple where my pens rests on my ring finger, the pressure of each stroke as my hand glides across the surface of the paper, and the hand cramps from not exercising these muscles for years. Then there is the release of joy in holding something in my hands that I created. A handwritten letter can be held, felt, smelt, and has a connection you can share with others. A friend wrote to me recently saying,
I know exactly how Holger felt and what he was trying to articulate - the connection between two people through a piece of paper. When is the last time you felt that connection with an email?
Over the past few months these thoughts and feelings lead to ideas, followed by brainstorming, and eventually an “ah ha!” moment; a semi-seasonal newsletter called POSTCARDS. Why postcards? They are quick, easy, and intimate. The gist of it is this, “a personal newsletter about life, creativity, art, and everything else that comes along”. Of course the newsletter will be digital, but I will - and this is the exciting part - mail an actual handwritten postcard to one lucky person (maybe two) each month. Several people have already signed up, and for that I am grateful, excited and nervous. So to those people let me just say thank you.
Actually, you know what? I want to say more than just thank you. If you find any of what I’ve been telling you about interesting sign up now, and if you are one of the first 30 people I will send each of you a unique, handwritten postcard to celebrate all this.
Who knows, some of you might get inspired to pick up paper and a pen (pencil is cool too) and write back - I won’t be too disappointed if you don’t.