The first post card I ever recieved was from Nanna Mac. It was written in beautiful flowing cursive which my mum and dad had to help me decipher; I was eight and still using a pencil to write block letters.
The card was from Bunderburg and Nanna had written about her trip to the brewery, how suger can is harvested and the average rainfall whilst she had been there. I still learn more about average rainfall from Nanna than I do from the news. She visits Queensland every winter and I always look forward to a post card.
Nannas post cards always teach me something about the history of a place. I always wanted to learn from Nanna, and she was always a wonderful teacher. She taught me how to read music, play piano, knit, mend a button hole and replace a button, bake scones and sponge cakes, to put sugar on top of my strawberries, and how to drive. And she taught me that all of these skills and hobbies are also a way to communicate.
A way to say ‘I love you’ without words. Nanna is not bad with words she’s just better at playing music, baking, knitting, sewing, leafing through photo albums and hugging. She has told me to be careful, get home safe, do well in school, be on time, stay warm, eat well, take a breath, listen, move, resist, recover, rest, soften and communicate without uttering a word. Some things don’t need to be said allowed to be important.
But even knowing this I still constantly have words in mind. Ready to say because I’ve overthought and rehearsed plenty of interactions. And when the words are too much I write them all down so that maybe I’ll have a chance to sleep.
And sometimes I write them all down on postcards. Sometimes I write down things that I’d never say in person. Sometimes I address the postcard before I write on it, sometimes I only know where to send it after its written. I am still trying to figure out why that is but the mystery doesn’t bother me enough to stop the words.
So I write. I write to friends and family and my partner, I write to the post officer, I write to buildings with strangers, I write to have something to do on the train, I write to get those messages on facebook saying “i just got your post card and it made my day”, I write so that someone can hide my words away and just look at the picture, I write to show people that I may be incredibly unwell but I’m still holding the pen.
I write the words and decide to send them away, always taking a photo because the words can leave my head but I still want a way to show they’re mine. They are a journal entries that I’m scattering around the world.
I write to say thank you to Nanna for teaching me about words.
I know they aren’t the only way to communicate but I still want to be good at them. If thats possible.