Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Me and General Robert Lee

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Postcard From Switzerland

I got a postcard from a friend in Switzerland today. It showed a picture of two gnomes sitting fishing on the rim of a cup of tea. (I think.) I didn't really understand the picture. if there was any joke or significance to it.

The handwriting on the back was hardly decipherable; something about trees and coming to Dublin in July.

But, turning it round and round in my hands, I found myself marvelling at how much a postcard now means. Somebody has to go into a shop, scan the postcards, choose an appropriate one (appropriate for you), write a message, buy a stamp, and post it. In our age of instant communications, its tangibility and personal nature is so very meaningful.

I guess there's always been a certain sweetness to postcards; certainly, they feature heavily in book and film titles, not to mention song lyrics, which aim for poignancy. ("Hide on the promenade, etch a postcard...") However, now they are more touching than ever.

7 comments:

  1. got one from Switzerland years ago from a priest. had long horned cattle on it and a comment that the Italian mass singing was nice. priest gone to the other life now. where there's no horns, I'm sure

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  2. I actually did one better today- I received, in the mail, a wedding photo- as in- a real photograph- taken with a camera and developed.
    I always keep any sacred postcards that I receive, the earliest I have is about 25 years old, some not-so-sacred I keep too

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    1. That's sweet. I don't think I've ever thrown out a postcard. I haven't received a whole of them, though.

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  3. Once, when traveling back North from my folks' town I stopped to buy gas at a mini-mart. I was quite struck by the postcard rack they had there, which mainly featured small Central Valley towns, unknown to the world. It was charming. My grandmother was waiting in the car, so I didn't pause long enough to buy cards, subsequently spending several years regretting that because I couldn't for the life of me remember exactly where the place was! The elusive quality of the mini-mart (that's not a phrase you often hear) elevated it to mildly mythical proportions in my mind, so when I stumbled across it again one evening, I was awed, as well as delighted. I was particularly pleased, the last time I drove down, to see that the postcard rack, which I had thought a waning relic, seemed to have been recently restocked.

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    1. That sounds like a Stephen King story. Or the start of one anyway!

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  4. Just so! If I didn't have experience to the contrary, I would suspect any postcards bought there, on any given mysterious night, to prove to be but a handful of dried leaves in the morning. Gas stations aren't supposed to be that ephemeral!

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