Yesterday, as I was sitting in tech rehearsal doodling away, it dawned on me that I haven’t been in the same place for more than 5 months in the last couple of years. Maybe that explains my love of the postcard.
I make postcards. No, I don’t cut down the trees like the lumberjack-of-a-lesbian I could be (if I reached my full potential, of course) and then process the paper myself or anything quite so exciting. Instead, I buy large packs of blank index cards, ink them up with my favorite gel pen and send them off to the people I love.
It started out as a kind of “zen” practice. (Yes, I went to art school. Yes, it was in Santa Fe, New Mexico.) I was really inspired by the Tibetan Buddhist monks’ sand paintings. If you haven’t heard of them: http://www.boxxet.com/Monk/video:buddhist-monks-create-sand-mandala/ They embrace the transitory nature of life, so they create these intricate drawings in the sand and then brush them away when they’re through. It’s the kind of thing that makes you think, “awesome” and “what the fuck?” at the same time. Shout out to the Tibetan Buddhist monks!
Well obviously I’m not drawing in the sand. It’s a while to Grand Isle, Louisiana, and I’m not sure if the “sand” near Lake Ponchartrain actually is sand– or whether it has been for many years… But my idea was and is: I draw these postcards, each one unique, put an address and a stamp on them, but no return address. If they make it, they make it. If they don’t–you guessed it–they don’t.
Lately I’ve noticed that every postcard really takes on a life of its own and I know who I should send each to by the time I’m finished. Sometimes I start one and intend to send it to one person, but realize instead it’s really for another.
So yesterday, after a long day at the theater, our lovely Production Stage Manager, Sarah, invited a group of us back to her new apartment. I’m not really sure how we got into the conversation, but I ended up showing her a bunch of the postcards I made throughout the day. First of all, she couldn’t believe that’s what I was doing between setting props and running errands all day, secondly, she made me pass them around to the group. I have to admit, it was kind of wonderful. People were really supportive. Someone even called me an artist. I laughed a little (but secretly kind of loved it.)
Anyhow, a little idea popped into this BFA (which stands for “Bachelor of Fine Arts” on my diploma, but “Bad Fucking Ass” by my friend Chris’s standards) brain of mine. Why not scan the postcards I make from now on and share them with the world before I send them on their merry way? Maybe the Tibetan Buddhist monks wouldn’t approve, but maybe they would. I don’t know any personally, so it’s hard to say, really.
Maybe it’ll encourage people to start sending more snail mail. I never expect anything back, but I do sometimes get some great responses. A random found postcard from my friend Jessica here, a photograph-turned-postcard from my friend Zach there. There’s nothing like getting mail (the good kind, at least). And it’s nice to know I can do something.
That’s the plan. And so begins The Perpetual Postcard Project.