Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Postcards from the Edge

I'm a big journaler. Since there is no such word, I guess I should say, "I'm very journalary." (Thanks, Point is, I like scribbling a bit every night. It's usually some chicken scrawl about the things I'm grateful for and a few lines about what's going on in my head, before the letters start sloping down the page into complete illegibility as sleep takes over. Jotting stuff down helps clear my head in the moment and, in retrospect, provides that much-loved 20/20 hindsight. This can be amusing, illuminating, or ouch-inducing, depending on the situation, but there is no denying its overall salutary effect on my state of mind. 

On the other hand, my journal doesn't capture the news of the day in the charming, archival way that old-fashioned diaries used to. Even when I'm traveling, which I do fairly often for work, I might fail to mention, or give only a passing glance back at, my out-of-town adventure. Nor will there be many photos, unless someone else is snapping them. It all adds up to an ineffective travel record. 

My solution? I've taken to sending myself a postcard from each of my trips.* It has long been my habit to dash these off to my godchildren, nieces, nephews, baby siblings and my grandmother, but I recently added myself to the list.

The picture postcard. Is there anything more succinct, yet evocative? They are date-stamped, yet timeless. They are supremely personal, highly budget-friendly souvenirs. 

Additional Greene Points for the simplicity of the form (your very own handwriting -- when was that last on display?), the appreciation of the moment, and the creation of the message (how much can you convey in just a few bon mots?).

*Credit for this idea goes to my middle brother (who gets to remain anonymous). At the age of about 7, unbeknownst to the rest of us and exemplifying the above-stated principles, he wrote, stamped, and mailed the following message to himself on a postcard from Barbardos: 

"Dear __________, 
You're the best.
Love, ___________" 

1 comment:

  1. that's a great idea! I'm the kind of guy who would write the postcard, then forget to send it, then finds them 6 months later and laughs at himself.