Postcrossing

As is my way, my enthusiasm for new writing projects consumes me. I am eaten up with excitement at the prospect of sending photographic missives all over the world and receiving the same in return – though probably not from poets. The very thought of strange postcrossers choosing a card for me, scribbling a message and mailing it across the world is spectacular.

There are several aspects of this hobby that interests me but the main one is as a writing exercise. Most people find it difficult to write postcards – it’s a bit like visiting sick folk in hospital. What do you talk about? Some writers are afraid of the blank page, and believe in that thing they call writers’ block. I’m never afraid and I don’t believe. If someone tells me to write, I point my pen at the page and see what comes out; it’s a matter for my head not my mind and at the beginning I have no idea what’s going to appear on the paper. I don’t worry about it; I just do it and tell myself I’m not responsible for whatever results.

There are now nine cards on their way to people I don’t know. The really stimulating action of all this is looking at someone’s profile to see what kind of images they love and hate then measuring that with a collection they’ve posted on Piccassa or Flickr before perusing the cards I have in front of me. Research and matching, looking for the perfect pairing, and all the while my head sending out feelers for a theme to link the two. I engaged a pair last night; she said she would be interested in religious images and I had a jukebox on a card with stained glass so I married religion to music – I hope she likes it and isn’t offended!

Tonight I noticed that one person liked black & white and the perfect card was a dancer’s legs against a black & white tiled room; white tights on the legs led down to red ballet shoes. The piece I wrote was about blending and disappearing but also of something stealing limelight.

The writings on these cards are not exactly poems; they are geared towards someone and have only the slightest knowledge of that person’s desires but I try to leap into something in a small way. This is why I include them along with the images of the cards in a new page of the blog here. Maybe one day I’ll work with some of them but at present they are only exercises; I wouldn’t want to be accused of self-publishing. Anything I put on here is either an exercise or not for serious publication.

I love the idea of just letting go but being drawn into a small frame of reference with limitations and the pressure of getting it some kind of right first time; these pieces are written straight onto the card with no room for mistakes or too much thinking – it’s a postcard and I know the readers will forgive me…well I hope they do. Only time will tell. Maybe I’ll be run out on a rail never to darken the world’s doorstep again with my scribblings.

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