I got a card today from my dear friend Michelle. We live less than 10 miles from each other, but continue (or resurrect when it has fallen aside) the habit we began as teenagers of mailing each other letters (I still have a folder of correspondence between us – well, the pieces she wrote anyway – from way back in the 90’s). Sure, plenty of emails still get exchanged, but usually as part of larger group conversations. Or texts bouncing around during football games. But nothing is the same as getting a special piece of mail every now and then.
I wanted to scan it and include in this post, but it’s copyrighted so I refrained. It is simply a painting of an electric typewriter, aquamarine in color actually, not blue, with white keys. It is quite similar to the ones we learned to type on in high school, only those were a hideous beige color. This one appears to have black and red tape (I don’t recall using red much, maybe it was for editing, like track changes today?) and does not appear to have correction tape built in. So you’d need to grab the little snippets of chalky white cellophane to shove between the tape and the paper so when the key was struck it would transfer the chalk instead of ink. Ah, backspace, how I love thee.
It’s a cool looking piece of art, it seems quaint and funky. What I think this means is, we are at that point in our lives when the things we grew up using have suddenly become hipster for being so old. Like when I was a kid, it was old phones where you picked up one piece that looked like a small horn to put to your ear, and the rest of the apparatus was what you spoke into. How antique and crazy it was! My grandmother no doubt looked at us playing with it and thought how it wasn’t that long ago she used it to actually call people. Maybe there are people still using typewriters?
But a card is more than just what is pictured on its face. The content inside is what counts. We’ve been discussing what has kept us from being what we wanted to be or doing what we wanted to do. What has held us back? We’re trying to finally give ourselves a chance to write and believe in what we’re doing. We are going to strike a Wonder Woman pose and convince our brains that nothing can stop us. And remind ourselves that we aren’t getting any younger and maybe it’s true, we really are too old to continue thinking we need to care what other people think.
Just do it. Why not me? (Thanks, Russell).
The gift of friends who continue to remind us of why we matter and that we should keep striving, even when we’re stabby, petty people sometimes, is incalculably valuable. So, thanks for the card M, and let’s keep tapping those keys – and scribbling those notes.