Sometimes even digital natives get real mail, especially when they have something to celebrate and people who care about them who want to share that celebration. Today I received three packages.
The first package shipped from Dick Blick.
When I opened it I found a note from my parents that said
"Congratulations Chandler Marie! We lov
e you and are so
proud of you...Wish we could be there,
Love, Mom and Dad"
Along with the note were five wonderful new paintbrushes.
Two liners, two rounds, and a flat. All Kolinsky sables.
The nicest brushes I've ever had. I can't wait to use them!
The second package is from one of the most wonderful people in the world, a longtime friend and my favorite librarian, Danny Hanbery. I've known Danny since freshman year in the Blount dorm at UA. I've tried repeatedly to get him to move to Memphis so he can be my librarian, but I've had to settle for great mail from him postmarked from Atlanta. Today he sent me a card from YeeHaw Industries and a tiny amazing knit cactus, which may be my favorite thing that I've ever gotten in the mail ever. Danny already has a couple of paintings I made, but I think I may have to paint him a postcard of this cactus so he can have one of his own.
The third package was from Amazon and included two books that I ordered for myself that have been sitting on my wishlist for a while. The first is Hans Bacher's book Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation and the second is called "Every Day Life" by Danica Phelps. The project documented in this book is an exchange: Danica traded her drawings for writing by 28 different people. One of those people is on my committee. See his name over in the sidebar on the left? It's the first one: (alphabetical order by first name) Cedar Lorca Nordbye.
So I flipped to Cedar's writing on page 126, which was a slower process than usual because the page numbers are nestled deep in the valley of the spine, so the page looked like 126127 instead of
The essay is ostensibly about a conversation Cedar had with students about Romanticism. But really it's about the process of writing. He writes about "the challenge of writing, the difficultly of fulfilling an assignment and having it feel like it was true to me." He writes about being worried that his writing will come across as "staged, and kind of fake feeling." How often do we get the chance to read honest words like this from our mentors? How often are those worries paired with phrases like "I have faith that the small things will make a difference" or packaged alongside descriptions of fading light and quotes from Milan Kundera?
I miss the summer. When I was home this summer with my daughter we waited outside for the mailman to come after her nap. Today the sky was grey but the leaves in the tree in front of my house were brilliant yellow. There was no sunset, just bright yellow leaves falling in the rain. I will rake them on Saturday and wait for the mailman. I have thank-you notes to send and sometimes e-mail isn't enough.