Friday, August 27, 2010


I love postcards. I collect them. I like landscapes, flora and fauna, architecture, people, food, art, cartoons and jokes. I like corny and vintage postcards. I have kept every postcard I have received, from everyone who has ever sent one to me.

I have a dreamy image of a beach in Costa Rica. A giant beer stein suspended in the clouds from Germany. An early picture of Buddy Holly from his museum in Lubbock, Texas. A watercolor painting of a lone woman drinking coffee in a cafe, wearing one glove. Ancient stone carvings of horses and warriors from Iraq. A sunset in Kansas with pheasant hunters illuminated by the purple and orange sky. A naked skier in Colorado. Bicyclists in the 1920's, lighting each other's cigarettes. The enormous grain elevator from Hutchinson, Kansas. Mugshots of baby burros from New Mexico. A scorpion from Las Vegas. The fjords of Norway. A cat wearing a striped blouse, "Keep your fork, there's pie." Fabulous by Playboy. Many more.

I buy them whenever I see them, with intentions of sending off every one, but sometimes just stick a few of them into albums for my own enjoyment. I used to spend too much time sorting through antique wooden card catalog drawers in flea markets and antique malls, reading feathery cursive messages of yellowed postcards.

I like books that organize the history, different styles and artists, illustrations and works of art from different countries. Famous buildings and highways and statues and monuments. Fountains and rivers and parks and strange roadside attractions.

What is more precious to me than the actual pictures of these exotic or not-so-foreign places, are the people sending them, and of course, the fragments of news, vacation plans, new experiences, wishing-you-were-here laments, and well wishes. I like how I can re-read these messages and instantly remember those moments.

I recently received a new postcard, it's been quite a while. And maybe it was the feeling of getting mail, the friend who sent it, the message that was written, the memories it invoked, the feeling of closeness... It meant a lot to me.

So thanks. And yours is in the mail.