Postage from Fid

Postage from Fid
Postage from Fid / “Owls Against Patriarchy” by Fid Thompson

Dear Fid,

Receiving your Postage was the best kind of surprise. Like you, my grandparents were artists, and they often included small watercolor paintings or cray-pas illustrations in their letters to me. I would hold the envelopes to my nose before opening them to see if I could guess the medium they used. For a long time, researchers thought that pigeons used smell to find their way home, and your relationship to handwritten letters feels warm and familiar, like a kind of homing instinct. I so wish I could join your workshop this weekend, and since I can’t, I followed your prompt.

Dear Uncle Dick: before i had a name for who i am, i had you. when i think of you, my feet curl and stretch to free themselves, and soon they’re up and running back to that cabin in the woods, the lake still sparkling, the smell of sun on cedar shingles. i’m making dinner tonight! you called, and everyone laughed, but you pointed to me and then to bobby: yes, i’m making dinner, and they’ll help. you shooed all the grownups off to the lake and said c’mon kiddies, we’re going to make a real dinner party. you took us by the hands, your skin soft and safe, flecks of paint under your nails and in your hair, and the three of us skipped down that pine-hallowed stone road like thieves. for two hours, we waded waist-high in a field of queen anne’s lace, gathered the flowers up in our arms like they were bales of hay, and carried them home. when we’d piled them on the picnic table you said, go on, i’ll take it from here, and you poured yourself a drink. by the time you banged a spoon against the bottom of a dinner pot, the sun was longways along the lake’s edge and everyone was cranky from hunger. by then I’d pulled a sundress over my bathing suit, anticipating something from somewhere else, somewhere that smelled like gin and aftershave and conversation. what happened next is something i plan to take to my ever-after: as we made our way up from the lake, it was like the sun had set behind the water and rose inside the cabin. the first thing i noticed were the porch railings, wrapped in garlands of queen anne’s lace, thick green braids the size of my thighs. i reached for bobby’s hand and said look! but there was no need to show him, his mouth was an o, his brown eyes shining in the candlelight, because that was the next thing i noticed – the candles. hundreds of tea lights, maybe a thousand, you had filled that place with so much light, the cabin seemed winged. behind me, granny was laughing, oh dick, you’re something, and when i turned, granny and gramps and mom and dad were all laughing, too. come-come-come you called, before dinner gets cold. up the stairs, the pathway to the table was a petaled runway of green and white, on the table, vases of white petticoats, sprays in vodka bottles and medicine bottles, too. and at our places, each plate held a crown of queen anne’s lace. when we were adorned and laughing, you reappeared from the kitchen with a steaming pot, twirled your spoon in the air, and presented the meal with a flourish: hot dog stew for everyone! nothing could contain us then, whatever crankiness people had felt was gone, and it was then that i understood the most important lesson about entertaining: whether the food is good doesn’t matter, it’s all about presentation and connection. as you dished out the bowls, i remember the way you looked at my grandfather like he was something that could be eaten up, and i remember the way he beamed back at you when you ran your fingers through the bristles of his silver hair and placed another garland on his head. it was a smile i saw him make only once in all the time i knew him, a smile i see now he must have saved for you. and that’s when i knew that the words i had heard used to describe you – irresponsible, bankrupt, flamer, cirrhosis – they were all wrong, because when i imagine what god must be like, i think of you.

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Postage from Meghan

Postage from Meghan

 

A koan is a riddle or puzzle that Zen Buddhists use during meditation to help them unravel greater truths about the world and about themselves. The effort to “solve” a koan is intended to exhaust the analytic intellect and the egoistic will, readying the mind to entertain an appropriate response on the intuitive level.”

(Source: Encyclopedia Brittanica)

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Postage from Courtney

Postage from Courtney

Courtney, whenever I think of you, I think of your adventures. You seem to be everywhere at once! You don’t know this, but not long after you told me you were training for a marathon, I decided to take up running.

I HATE running.

I hate everything about it  –  the mind-over-matter, all the jostling of the wobbly bits, I mean, the pavement pounding is just hellish  –  but most of all, I was irritated by what I perceived to the overly zealous nature of all the runners I know.

I’m not proud to admit this, but there it is.

(I’m sure you’re not one of them.)

Here’s the rub:  I am a survivor, and yes, like you wrote in your postcard, I AM a dreamer! I do love a good challenge. So at 46, I decided to try running. At first, it was only a few minutes at a time. I thought I’d never make it past 90 seconds. Then a quarter of a mile, then a half. I went along like this, mile by mile, mostly hating it, occasionally liking it, one day even loving it a little, until I did my first 5K.

There is a photo of me smiling at the end of that race, and while I don’t look particularly zealous (in fact, I look very red-faced and exhausted), I do look HAPPY.

It’s been raining all day in Philadelphia, and look – there’s the sun! and whoa, the dog needs some fun, and hey, there are my running shoes by the door…

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller


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Read my latest essay in ENTROPY Magazine.

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LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

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Postage from Anne

Postage from Anne

Anne, yesterday I saw my first robin, so imagine the happy discovery of your card! You sent it long ago, and I received it just in time for spring. Thank you for sending it. My only excuse is that I’ve been writing, writing, writing. If it’s possible to read too much, I’ve been doing that, too. Letters get slipped inside books and between manuscript drafts, the happiest places I know. If you’re reading this, leave me a comment and tell me what you’ve been up to, and please – come back and visit us at Viva anytime. It’s full of feathers over here.

New here? Are you wondering, “What’s Postage?” Write to me here.

There are just 2 spots left in my Online Writing Workshop here.

Postage from Alaskat / A Card for Humanity

Postage from Alaskat / A Card for Humanity

 

I received this postcard from AlasKat almost a year ago, and I loved it so much I used it as a bookmark. A few weeks ago, it reappeared in a stack of my many books, along with more postcards and letters from blog readers. Thank you – I’ll be posting those soon!

To AlasKat in Arizona – a garden of gratitude for the timelessness of this message.


A CARD FOR HUMANITY:

Ask Yourself:

“Is this in the best interest of Community?”

If we feel we don’t have the energy to do it – we don’t.

If we begin & trust & ask … Help will arrive.

And who knows what unexpected beauty & dreams they will bring?

Inexhaustible resources & energy wellsprings exist, when intent is grounded in LOVE.

GOT LOVE?

Tend the Garden.


Starting soon…

Online Writing Workshop: Transformative Storytelling

Postage from Shona

postage-2016-04-25-shona-marie
Shona, I love that the Sedona workshop set you on such a powerful course. In the name of badass traveling women and kindred spirits, sending you a big “Aho!” from Philadelphia … xo.
 

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LeighHereNow
PO Box 27771
Philadelphia, PA
19118, USA

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