Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sometimes friends are better than family and strangers are better than friends!
What? How dare I? Have you ever heard of the phrase "snail mail"? What comes to mind something from the "olden days"? Something from way-back-when? Something way before YOUR time? There is definitely a negative connotation to snail mail or regular mail. Yup, the kind that actually uses some form of paper and requires a stamp, a trip through the post office, man power, and ultimately delivery to your neighbor, across the country, or beyond. I have been luckily enough to stumble upon a group of artists who pride themselves on creating unique artistic pieces of mail for others to enjoy. The others I refer to are complete strangers! What? Can these people be trusted? Who are they? In the world of technology where almost anything can be found out about almost anyone or anything and the thought of "can we trust them" crosses our mind seems ludicrous. These artists are a unique breed of which I have joined.
However, this isn't ra-heally what I wanted to write about when I thought of this title! Go figure...off on a tangent sometimes. (I tend to do that because I like details. The more details I know the better image I can create in my head!) Anyway, I come to realize something about myself...I like paper!Looking back I have always liked paper for different reasons. I am a tactile person in some ways but in other ways I am not. There are things out there that I do not like to touch and I do not like them on my hands...hand lotion for one! But, I like to feel paper! I like to hold a book, a magazine, a bookmark. I like to feel the quality and texture of the paper. Needless to say I also have a lot of paper around the house in lots of forms. One form that is not around my house is wallpaper. Eww...I guess because my house is small and it just would not fit despite the print or pattern. Oh well. Paper it is. I have collections of magazines I cannot throw out (even duplicate copies cannot be tossed!). I have lots of note cards, tags, craft supplies, articles, books, newspaper clippings, cookbooks, recipe cards, stickie notes, calendars, construction paper, reminders, receipts...you name it it is probably somewhere around here. However, I am not a hoarder nor do I consider myself a pack rat or clutterer. I just have paper around me. The thought came over me "what if I got rid of every single piece of paper I own"...an incomprehensible thought that I can NOT get around my mind.
More and more I see people reading from their Kindle and I don't know how they do it! I need to hold the book, I need to feel the pages, I need to cross-reference parts and reread parts that require further contemplation, I need to fold over the pages so I don't get lost, I need to feel the weight of the book even if it is a 99cent paperback...I just need paper. Odd? I am not sure. I just find it comforting to be able to fulfill my tactile need while educating myself of the material ON the paper! This brings me back to my introduction to mail artists. Since I am a paper fanatic I am pleased that I have found a group of people who are also into paper. They, however, have kicked it up a notch by sharing their skills and talents with strangers no less in paper form. While it is challenging to find the time to do a good quality piece to send to a friendly stranger who shares the same interest there is nothing like opening your mailbox to find a treasured piece from a stranger who gave you their time because they like what they do. In this day and age it is rare to find people who really want to give you the time of day never mind take the time to create a unique piece of art (and write a letter!) and mail it to you! For this weird oddity or as I like to call them -isms I am happy that I have an avenue to share my paper with of which I know it will be appreciated!