Regular readers of my blog might have noticed that I haven’t solicited signups for my newsletter (see sidebar) in many many months. I write a piece of analogue email (a postcard !) to each sign up. Indeed I often felt like the only thing between me and the Royal Mail’s profits as I wrote prolifically every week. Often up to 10 or or so postcards a week. Sometimes to a friend having a bad time, sometimes just some friendly mail to welcome someone home from a trip or piece of mail for someone living through grief. Marathon postcard writing is my thing. I once wrote a postcard a day for 6 months to a friend diagnosed with a brian tumour many thousands of miles away. I used to write 2 or 3 times a week to my grandmother Sylvia in Sydney Australia. She was not a silver surfing grannie though out childhood was punctuated by blue air letters she wrote from Johannesburg and her writing so familiar. My mother wrote back of course. in those days phone calls were a once a year event at that.
My grannie was cool – really cool. Stylish and an artist though unacknowledged. She produced, weaving, ceramics, knitting all to a very high standard while being married to a very social Highlands North doctor. Having her kids hide their friends on the run from the authorities in her house. She was elegant and well dressed. There possibly were good outcomes for me the slovenly and unsylish granddaughter living many many thousands of miles from her.
Earlier this year my dad phoned and said that my grannie had died. That very afternoon I’d taken a card of a drawing and written to my grandmother.
And from that moment on I became an ex writer. I would look at postcards in a gallery and NOT buy them – for in my head what was the point without my grandmother to write to? My postal communication to friends dwindled to nothing. I’m not sure in this digital age they even noticed. For 5 months I’ve hardly put pen to paper. And strangely writing like planning, or thinking on paper has stopped as well – as if the act of writing these small pieces of communication tapped something else at the same time. Other things have taken the place of writing instead i’m thinking in yarn, the results of which burst out of plastic bags all over my living room but its a different form of thinking and one which has a concrete outcome which I like for a change.
However there are stirrings. I’m thinking of offering Postal Joy again as I recon we all need something to connect us and keep us going through winter. Do sign up for the newsletter if you would like to be kept informed and get special newsletter discounts.