"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

No Mail Today, watercolor

"No mail today," watercolor, 8 by 10 140# d'Arches
Remember when you liked to go to the mailbox?
Hoping for a letter from far away, or a card from a special someone,  a package, or other interesting items, dropped off by the "Mailman"?
The first mailman I vaguely remember was Tommy Thompson in Fort Worth, when I was five or six. He'd stop by the house, ask "Think the rain'll hurt the rhubarb?" Always a smile, always leaving something worth looking at. Isn't it amazing I can remember that? Tells you how important the mail was. 
By the time I got to draft age, I started dreading the mail, afraid of a notice from the draft board. Since then, the number of letters and cards continued to decrease. e-mail has made it worse, and we label the old fashioned one, "Snail Mail." But we still treasure personal mail. It's not by accident that we refer to articles like this in blogging as "posts."
I think personal mail has increased in importance, especially since people are sending fewer and fewer Christmas cards. My heart lifts when I get a Thank You note from a student.
What I really treasure, we all do, is to receive something in the mail handwritten, because we know it's a personal note. You can count on friend Jill Kelsey remembering everybody's birthday, with a nice note. It's not by accident that we call her the Hallmark Queen. 
In the past few years, I've started painting individual Christmas cards for people, and I'm amazed at the reactions. They actually frame the cards. I don't think it's the art. I think it's that somebody got some mail that is personal.
Most days I dread the mail.
But most days, I still dread the mail.
Today for instance, I walked out and pulled a bunch of stuff out. Most are worthless catalogs, coupon collections, direct mail pieces for clothes, hearing aids, new windows, heating, mowing, credit card offers, and such like.
My first stop is always at the outdoor recycling trash container, where I dump it all in unopened. Most mail is indeed "junk."  My neighbor saw me do that today, and she said she did the same thing.
What's left? Bills. While I'm at the trash can, I open them and dump the envelopes, and take what's necessary inside, slumping them in a pile of unwelcome, but necessary interruptions.
No wonder I painted this, because I so enjoy days when there is no mail.


1 comment:

  1. Yep, back in the day, we all lived for the mail. Not so much anymore. I love your cards

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