I’m not really good with word economy. As a writer this is a bit of an obstacle since I’m constantly told to “slaughter my babes” and confine my descriptions and articulations to a certain number of words. I found this to be especially challenging when I started traveling. I wanted to tell everyone everything when I was abroad. I wanted to send the smells, sounds, tastes of where i was to the ones I loved. I wanted to explain what the light looked like while it was bouncing off
a palm in the humid, warm afternoon in the tropics… but I found that i was sending epic long novels to people and in their daily lives, they didn’t necessarily have the time to read about while hurrying through emails on their blackberries between work and life in the city.
Postcards have proved to be a happy medium for me. Although i write super duper small and fill up every inch of the card, it is just enough to say what i want to say within the confines of a 4″ x 6″ space and also, I think there is something really special about getting a hand-written card amongst bills and junk mail coming through in the post.
My mother always taught me to send thank-you cards and I love the habit that I have to do that. I feel like postcards are another way of saying Thanks to the people who have given me love and support and ultimately enabled me to live this gypsy mermaid life that I do. When i went home to San Diego at Christmastime, I saw a collection of postcards I had sent my family hanging up on the fridge and it made me smile to see images of the places I have been over the last year. Images of Babas in Varanasi, India… Sweeping landscapes of rice patties in Bali… Celebrations and Funny animals in Malaysia and Thailand…
Whenever I send my sister a postcard I always try to find the most bizarre image I can which i think is really funny.
I was thinking this morning how fun it would be to get a postcard out here in the Mentawai Islands from San Francisco or New York City – places that seem foreign and remote to my native Indonesian friends. They would LOVE to take a vacation to California and see the sights, smells, and sounds of Venice Beach. So it made me realize that we are all living someone’s dream. No matter where we live, someone would love to come there and experience it. We are all living in a dream vacation spot, so how fun would it be to send each other post cards from where we are.
Once I get back to San Diego in August I think I will keep sending postcards to my list of friends and family around the US and England… If there was a postoffice here in the islands I would send them out here too.
Give it a try… Email or call 10 or 15 close friends and loved ones, get their mailing addresses and start sending postcards to them. It doesn’t take much time to write a little note on the backside of a card and it’s a pretty cool gift. And for someone like me with far far far too many words – it’s a good exercise on word economy.
Here’s my postcard to you all:
(in case you can’t read it)
Writing to you from Indo. Surf is huge and loud, crashing down on the reef like crystal blue dragons snapping their jaws… The jungle breathes this warm, moist tropical air and at night you can hear the chirps, squeaks and long deep exhales from the vines and wildlife covering the island.
My hair and skin are baked crispy and Paul Simon’s “Graceland” is currently the soundtrack to my soul.
Sending all that vibe and more to you today and always.
Keep living. Keep LLYOVing…
Your stoked on life mermaid sister,