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.

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