"The City of Is, the reverse of Par-is, the towers in the water not the air, the drowned roses and flying fish and other paradoxical elementals - you see - I come to know you - I shall feel my way into your thought - as a hand into a glove - to steal your own metaphor and torture it rather cruelly. But if you wish - you may keep your gloves clean and scented and folded away - you may only write to me, write to me, I love to see the hop and skip and sudden starts of your ink..."
A.S Byatt, Possession
I'm back in Sydney and the last of the postcards are trickling in. I love the fact that I checked the letterbox yesterday morning and there was a postcard from me, stamped London, England and sent off in a flurry from a red postbox more than two weeks ago. Mail is a funny thing, but it's also dying, and it's something that I never want to see go. I am a big fan of postcards. I love to send them and I love to receive them. I am fastidious about them. I would pick up a packet or two at every place we visited - snow-covered castles from Germany, the piazza della Academia in Florence, the Eiffel tower in spring - and I would find time that day to sit down with pen and paper and annotate them for their intended recipient. Sometimes the cards would be filled with little jokes or asides, formulate through years of friendship and things I knew would make them smile. Sometimes it would be just the simplest, quickest of thoughts, rendered necessary by the small amount of space given to you by a postcard. "Miss you", "Wish you were here", and, more often that I intended, "Paris is beautiful" (an endearment all of its own, surely).
I picked up the most recent issue of Kinfolk while away and have started to work my way through it this rainy first day of Autumn. It's dedicated to ice cream ("maybe the romance is in the fact that it melts - that the days when it is best are the days when its lifespan is shortest" Nikaela Peters writes on page 41) and that is reason enough to get your hands on it. But there's also a lovely article towards the end of the issue about "checking in", the lost art of sending letters. The still life - pencils and postcards and blocks of Mast Brothers chocolate - is exactly the kind of image I love. I want to spend this year checking in more, not just electronically but the old school way, with little notes and handwritten bits and pieces sealed with a kiss and sent through Australia Post. Why do I only buy stamps when I'm on holiday? I want to send more postcards this year, even just from Australia. Talisa and I are back in the same country again and she bestowed upon me the most beautiful birthday package of treats, carried all the way back from New York; Catbird candles and Mast Brothers chocolate. Maybe it's this rainy weather and the three cups of tea I've had this afternoon, but it has me all inspired to write a letter.