Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Death and Taxes

It's tax day in the US, so the postal service will be busy today - or will it? Is filing by mail still much of a thing? I never like waiting until April 15 to do my taxes - occasionally I've filed on or near the deadline if I've owed money, but in those cases I've prepared my return early. I both like and hate deadlines - they are great motivators, but I don't like getting too close to them without having everything sorted. I think my many years of poor study habits and scholastic procrastination have scarred me for life.

I'm going through a round of de-cluttering, opening drawers that haven't seen the light of day for many years. Some highlights: meeting notes from my dance company days; strongly worded letters to a previous landlord, a stereo manufacturer, the phone company; planning notes for a 1999 vacation to Maui; a school binder from 1983 that made me rethink the quality of my education. More postcards, of course, both blank and received, as well as scraps of letters. One letter in particular stood out - it was written over the course of several days (as one did back then), and essentially nothing happened in all that time. It was a letter about the ennui of living in a small town where little things can have huge impacts but nothing really changes. This sort of rumination feels so foreign to me now. Connection and communication is so instantaneous that I can't even imagine the patience required to document such stillness, but part of me remembers filling pages and pages with "nothing is going on". It's remarkable how great it is to read that again so many years later.

The result is a renewed burst of energy around correspondence. I still haven't felt the call (or had the time) to write an actual letter, but a couple of postcards did manage to make it out the door, fighting for the postman's attention this week.

From the Mark Mothersbaugh (DEVO) collection:

I identify with this too many mornings

A promotional postcard for a show I was in last year. The back was filled with information about the show, so I covered it with blank mailing labels to create writing space.

There was another postcard I sent in a hurry without scanning - I've got more copies of it, may add later.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Resurrection (almost)

It's been a little crazy the last few weeks, but I woke up this morning and realized I have an entire day with no plans. Actually, that's not true - I'm cleaning out old files, which are currently strewn across the floor below me as I type. There is so much paper that I may just start a trend of wallpapering floors. But nothing is scheduled, so it still feels like I've got this whole luxurious day ahead of me. I think I'll procrastinate and take a look at some of the great mail I got last month:

Artist: Erica Jane Huntzinger (no title listed)
I love this postcard. Green is my favorite color and the chaotic randomness of it feels a bit like my brain some days. From a friend who, unknown to me, moved some months ago. Fortunately my postcard in February found her - and I just scheduled a weekend getaway in her city, so I hope to see her face to face in May.

Egon Schiele, Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Standing (1915)
 From my Mom:

"I tend to buy my postcards from museums so I can remember paintings or pieces I like/love. This is a lovely portraint of Schiele's wife, who was so young when she died. The dress is an astonishment of color and form - all those beautiful stripes - but does not distract from her lovely face. Now she's yours!"

I do the same thing when I am visiting museums - buy postcards of pieces I want to remember.

Ha! A friend who bought the naughty postcards collection read this post from 2 years ago where I kvetched about having to part with this postcard and she sent it to me. Score!

Of course, this makes me feel terribly guilty, as I haven't responded to any of these yet. Perhaps the paper carpet will have to wait just a little longer. Did I mention that I found a bunch of postcards shoved in files from 15-20 years ago during the excavation? I'm more than a little sad that eventually I will be an organized person and I'll stop finding them everywhere.

Oh, and the Easter part of this post: I'm making homemade cadbury creme eggs. Very messy, very delicious little sugar bombs.