Someone asked, “Why do you write these things, it seems a bit risky putting yourself out online with thoughts.” I could write, “because.” This would be deemed an intelligent answer, but not one that I could claim as original. I am not that good of a thinker, or a writer, to come up with, “because.”
For some reason, I have resisted the rush for social media since in the mid 1990’s, even more so in the early 2000’s when the result of where we are today began in earnest. Maybe I just had some sort of inkling where and what it would lead to? The brainstorm café is actually inspired because I used to go everyday to cafes to sit, ponder and think of ideas. Today, either the people going into cafes, life, or perhaps how I see the people in the café’s has changed? It is less and less about social interaction and face-to-face learning about strangers that occupy the same space for a few moments during the day and more about “I need my caffeine fix, NOW!”
Another reason is I really enjoy writing ideas out that are unrelated to work. It gives the mind just enough of a break to relax the mind from brainstorming when the tension from thinking too much happens. Writing a blurb sometimes allows just enough of a release from the tension to allow another wave of time in thought to happen.
The other reason is that I used to write email blurbs and send them out to a few special friends. The interesting thing I learned is that if you mail the same letter to 30-40 different people, you will get 30-40 different opinions and ideas. That is of course if you had 100% readership. The reality is few even spend the time to read. Call it a world of “too busy! why aren’t you on face book? twitter? Send me 140 characters or less! what planet are you on?"
In hindsight, the actual “why,” started in 2007. I was in Paris France, on my way to Romania, but a girlfriend decided to tell me,” don’t come” while I was half way to the destination. The good news is my other friend needed someone to try to salvage and fix a shattered 1800’s octagonal tile floor, so the interesting thing was that I did take apart each of the shattered pieces and do my best to put it all back together with really no tools and no budget. I remember I had one sliver left from the floor and thought, “huh, you don’t need this” and I looked a floor and was amazed at how beautiful the mosaic inside a mosaic looked, all from pure hand labor and sweat.
That day, I also went to a café with a sketchbook, where I passed a homeless man I made friends with “Geoff” who via hand signals would get a café and/or croissant each day. It was ironic, a poor man feeding a poor man, but that’s what the creator of the universe seemed to want. When I sat down with a sketchbook and looked at some of the images I had, thought about putting up some website/blog, and instead thought, “wouldn’t it be more interesting to actually write letters and make cards for people.” Thus, the photo cards were created, and I really have no clue how many and where they have been sent over time.
I truly enjoyed sending the cards. They are Envelopes with no address, just some hand stamped variation of “M” on them. Holidays were a lot of fun for many years as the postmaster would go through the pile of “where in the world” does this one go? They would always smile that someone still took the time to write out a card. Call it postmaster bias?
The past few years, I have been all over, and my tools for making crafts seem to be scattered all over as well. In my tardiness, few holiday cards have gone out, much less “how are you doing” cards to friends and family. I am guilty of allowing business to take some time away from doing something I really loved to do. Perhaps that is why the website came to life. I would simply deposit my random thoughts out onto the Internet and not really care if anyone found them. It is like the card. I just mailed them and really never wondered if anyone got them, or what the people thought. It was one human saying “Hi, I was thinking about you, here is an original card, the idea came from watching people in card stores mindlessly spending 30 minutes for the “perfect card” when a few original words on paper would say oodles more.”
Despite me not using the large cameras since 2007, I also have a load of really nice images I like. While I didn’t get my paper cutter in my luggage this trip, I did get paper and a few rudimentary tools to make some cards. I even have designs and have tested cards that were for random people on the planes, cafes, and thank yours. Maybe my only contribution to social networking will be to be a Johnny Appleseed with hand made original cards.
Yeah, it takes a bit of time, is a bit of a pain in that the toolbox is about 5% of what I have, and postage is going up faster than college tuition rates, but I still always wonder, “what does someone think when they get a real piece of mail that they feel in their hands.”
Maybe that is the real reason “why?” From a purely selfish reason, I will never be a writer, much less a half way decent storyteller. While I would love to spend the time to hone the craft and get better, I think my time on this planet is simply better spent with taking ideas and dream and trying to make them reality to help some others. In the process, I seem to help myself in growing.
I do hope people start taking the time to sending out the silly cards again. Until then, I will deposit my thoughts, be they good, bad or ugly here.
That is the reason, “why?” perhaps the cards are truly my form of “social media?”
PS- if you made it this far in my blabbering shotgun of verbage, you actually deserve a card. send an email with your data, doesn't matter where on the planet you are from. will be nice to make your aquaintance.