18 January 2007

thursday love



about a year ago, I participated in my first postcard swap. initially, I was all giggly and excited about it. but then I did that thing where I wait until the very last minute to get started. when that happens, the thing that I have put off doing becomes more like work and less like fun.

all my supplies were neatly laid out on the dining room table, right next to the list of names I'd be sending postcards to. I walked past those supplies several times a day-- folded clothes around them, spilled milk from my cereal on them, fought tooth and nail to keep them safe from grubby little hands. still, they went untouched. and worse, they began to mock me.

when I could stand it no longer, I made my first postcard. while the kids were asleep, I spread everything out on the living room floor and got to work. my name was at stake, people. and I really dug christina (the woman who organized the swap and invited me to take part) and couldn't have her thinking less of me. wouldn't you know? once I got going, I couldn't stop. a kind of euphoria set in-- like when you get lost in a project and you lose all sense of time and place. you don't want to stop to eat or sleep, you don't care about the monumental mess you're making. in fact, the bigger the mess, the better. my kindergarten self came bubbling to the surface and I found out she's pretty tired of being all pushed down and smothered by the grown-up self.



then it came time to mail them off. I'll tell you-- I had a difficult time letting them go. my hand would not release that thick stack of postcards, I was physically unable to drop them into the mailbox. all those little miniature pieces of art that I'd spent so much time on, all of them helplessly out there in the hands of any given postal worker? I hadn't thought about that part. they might be subject to rain. or greasy hands. or worse. they might very well be put in a situation where unnecessary manhandling would be involved. why didn't I put them in envelopes? although, wouldn't that have defeated the whole purpose of sending out postcards? oh, the vulnerability! too much. finally, the guy in the car behind me honked extra loud and rude-like and I came to my senses, reluctantly tossed them into the slot and drove away.

as I turned onto dekalb avenue, I thought about all the different places they would be going-- texas, vermont, california, oregon, arkansas, washington, tennessee, maryland, canada, japan. so terribly exciting to be sending them out into the world like that. I remembered the time in fourth grade when we each attached our names and our school address to balloons. on a sunny afternoon (and in dramatic ceremonial fashion), we let them go. so many red balloons floating away, bright like tulips against the turquoise of the sky, strings trailing and spiraling. I remember the humble little white squares of paper that held our neatly printed names, I remember the way they flapped in the wind. I will never forget the sight of it. the idea behind the project was that maybe somebody somewhere would find your balloon and write to you. I never received a letter but that didn't really matter. the real joy was in the moment I decided to open my hand and let the balloon go. the real fun was in the possibility it represented and what it felt like to intentionally put something good out into the world. where would it go? how far would it travel? who would find it? what would they think? I remember watching my red balloon grow smaller and smaller, I watched until it completely disappeared from sight and I wondered about it and I felt good.



so I've decided I have mad love for postcard swaps. even though I've only done one. I've just signed up for another and am planning on organizing one of my own. if you care to join in, leave something in the comments or email me. details will be decided in the coming weeks. or we could all get together and release red balloons into the sky. I'm open, you know.

(more thursday love aka TILT here)

36 comments:

  1. these are quite beautiful and I would have felt the same way...not wantint to let them go- but that is the beauty and the joy if it all, the imperminance (sp?)

    I would love to join in the fun....

    ReplyDelete
  2. the postcards were/are simply gorgeous. so much colour - so much yummy creativity... i imagine the recipients were thrilled.... so yes please, i'd love to join in a swap... postcards from England :-) Sx

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are incredible! They make me drool... I love all of the colors and textures. If you do a postcard swap count me in!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so in! Your postcards are really pretty-love the color :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely, I want to feel all of those lovely ambivalent feelings too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, me, me, me!

    I'm a long time lurker, but you've encouraged me to come out of the woodwork with this swap idea.

    Please keep me posted, I'd love to join!

    Tanaya
    http://tanayasjourney.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your color usage... and hell yeah I am down for a postcard swap, count me in!

    ReplyDelete
  8. you know i am down for the programme!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The cards are just gorgeous. I enjoyed reading your reflections on letting go...

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh your colors....

    of course a swap that involves you would be very very very hard to pass up! :D

    so glad you did it [and let them go]

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh yes please!! A postcard swap. I'm in, I'm in.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ooh, ooh! Me, too! I'd love to contribute & participate!

    Lovely work, by the way.

    ReplyDelete
  13. With a temperature of approximately 15 F in Montreal, your postcards are warming me up, thanks for the sunshine! Count me in for the swap (even if I really have no idea of what I'm getting myself into!).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lemme know what you decide to do. I think I'd be in.

    ReplyDelete
  15. yes, me too hula - postcards from Québec !
    you know how to reach me - i don't have a bog...yet
    it's tanja

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dude I'm in. Like I need another project to help me procrastinate on my thesis. Doctorate schmoctorate! I want a doctorate in craftology.

    ReplyDelete
  17. ooh, ooh! If everyone is willing to post to the far reaches of the earth (New Zealand), I would so be in for a postcard swap! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I still have mine from the swap last year, I keep them in a box near my creating space. I was thinking about that swap just the other day. I would love to participate in another one with you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. i'd love to try a postcard swap!

    ReplyDelete
  20. How does a postcard from Australia sound? Would love to do a swap!!!
    You might have to explain the details :)

    I lOVE BALLOONS :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. aaahh-yeeaahh! sometimes fighting the weight of creativity can be a bit hazardous. i am thankful for the struggle, without it, where would we be:in a grey world? i dare say not!!! i'm in. to help. to believe in the power of a postcard:)

    ReplyDelete
  22. i'm not much of an artist, but i'll like to try it.

    athena in france

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your postcards are great...I'm sure those who received them feel lucky to have got one.

    I'd love to participate in a swap...I've been looking for something to get my creativity working again!

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wonderful Thursday love!

    I draw little cards and leave them about...the grocery store, coffee shops, etc.. Sometimes it's hard for me to let them go, especially when I think of the possibility of someone picking it up and just throwing it away. But not knowing who will find them...that's pure excitement.

    What the heck, count me in on the swappy love!

    ReplyDelete
  25. the colors on these are amazing! a swap - with you - crazy !!!!

    i'm have to be in!

    ReplyDelete
  26. i'd love to get in on it - i've never done a post card swap! *yours* are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  27. hooray! so many interested participants! and from all over the place too! I will be posting specifics soon and will need comfirmation from all of you (one way or the other) as well as your email addresses... thank you all for your fantastic comments and your willingness to participate! xo

    ReplyDelete
  28. Beautiful postcards. I too have had separation anxiety over my little pieces of art. But I guess spreading the love helps it come back to me. Hope to get you as a partner in a swap sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I do love the colors and patterns you chose for these postcards! You've inspired me, and if it's not too late to join in, I'd like to be a part of your swap. I'm in Japan but would be posting via the USPS.

    ReplyDelete
  30. These are PREEEEETY. I'd love to ask to swap, but it looks like you're already swamped with requests! How could I ask for one, when others need your art so?

    ...but, if you end up having no one from NYC to swap with, let me know.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh oh - me too please - postcards from New Zealand!

    Helen
    www.stripysockstudio.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. love your art!! count me in for a swap!

    ReplyDelete