Tag Archives: Correspondence

Sort-ganzing Global Postcards into Folios

Ya like postcards? Oh good! Handwritten Letters abound (with related anecdotes and digressions)

Let’s take a world tour with postcards, c’mon

Delightfully and gratefully, so many postcards and letters over the past few months, from Vietnam, Ireland, Ukraine, Germany, Bahamas, Croatia, Spain, Austin Texas, St John’s Newfoundland and St John Arizona, San Francisco via Prince Edward County (not island), Austria (by way of Himalayas) various British Columbia islands and mainland, of course around Japan (Gifu especially), and heck Cape Cod and more.

Each comes with a story, some with sketches so – in a poorly lit bedroom with a strange machine at side – riff about each and share the stamps and stories which stashing into a folio. Folios really as some go in “general”, others have a separate binder, others into a special collections, others to be considered at a later point.

Then all tidies up with sharing postal address and a Dymo Label.

Includes backgrounder about Wade Davis’ stellar book about early approaches to Everest from Tibet side “Into the Silence”.

Post’d: inbound treats from India, Lanka, Ukraine, Ireland, City Lights, Bowen, Germany etc

I mean, I know no one is really worrying about this or hardly paying attention, but I have a strange obsession with documenting all the inbound mail, as well as often making videos of me simply chatting whilst putting the treats into scrapbooks – which kind of misses the point and I should just spend the time scribbling more letters.

However, i recently sent out six glorious bundles of a book which combines fine art, exquisite paper craft, time travel, astral projection, interactivity, and story of love, love, love and friendship across time, zones, islands, continents, and fictions – and I did it all without taking a snapshot of the luscious stack (which also included inscriptions featuring my new inky stamps). It’s all very exciting to me.

*And* when I went to my local post office – where I used to be a regular visitor however this year I’ve slowed down significantly for various reasons – my favourite employee was there to greet me and help me with significant excitement and enjoyment as we chose the stamps for each one plus, I showed her the well-traveled 11 month journey postcard to India, and she in return, told me about new postal regulations for sending packages to all countries which go into affect September. (Oh great… More complications :(, fortunately does not affect letters and postcards, so I’ll stick with those standards (aerogrammes seem to go missing) so you’re out of luck on international packages friendo.

However, onwards the inbound pile, there’s been so many interesting arrivals so while I am restraining myself from documenting everything and saying to self its fine just documenting a few things. Cool with you? Great. Let’s make a start:

What do Fred Rogers, Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein and the Heinz family have in common? Thanks to Tim Tulloch & family in CT for the great card packed full of stories all interlinked in the most unlikely ways.

A talisman of friendship across continents, oceans – circumstances often running parallel across astral planes. We continue to create in solidarity, collaboration (accidental or otherwise), constant creativity, cross-medium communication and unabashed affection with and from Andrew McLuhan (who has faced significant personal challenges and started/completed/attempted so many multidisciplinary projects, while keeping the legacy of his father and grandfather even more relevant… All of the above for which I have massive admiration)

2 fortunate correspondents enjoying the correspondence from Bowen Island with usual enthusiasm (hooray for ice cream on the dock!)

Ichiro *reading* this dispatch from my birthday twin in Germany, in his words was mostly about “dinosaurs, water bikes and stanely park and the number 7” Danke Astrid-san.

Arriving miraculously timed directly on my birthday, although without that specific intention, came this beautiful envelope from someone who is a semi-professional letter/card writer, stamp creator, community builder, and always includes very enjoyable paper craft in her dispatches from Austin TX (a city I used to visit so often and loved so gently)

And another exceptionally thoughtful friend who’s family faced many challenges from operations to hurricanes over the last, while you took the time to send a birthday card, which hit all the marks with luscious paper, lovely quote, and a glorious tree. Thank you to the palmy desert.

this quirky artwork arrived from a friend. I haven’t met yet (thinking about it, many of my correspondence fall into this category) who also lives in Japan and it seems to have a very interesting variety of skills from sketching to music. {It’s a really fantastic painting and remind me of another, we saw during the van Gogh exhibit in an adjacent gallery… its around here somewhere… oh here it is}

sorry don’t know the artist’s name

These “Fantastic” stickers were included with a very heartfelt and private typed letter, on luscious letterhead, describing an experience at a regional burning man type event, in which the writer set up a “post office” and delivered analogue communication from various camps to camps… That part doesn’t sound very personal, but anyway, here’s related stickers as a placeholder for this tender letter.

A young –I guess he’s no longer that “young” – Sri Lankan correspondent made a trip to India, I believe his first international adventure about which he was understandabl excited, and from this journey came a postcard featuring the mystic Sai Baba, whose movement/commune/corp makes the exquisite Nag Champa incense.

The same un-young fella sent another card on his return to Sri Lanka, the stamps/cancellation are included for your enjoyment in comparison. Learn more about Rasika and his postcards.

Also, no longer particularly “young” but of course, still youthful and in my eyes always a keen speaker, comes a postcard from Ireland (on a honeymoon with an exceptional decision). {Funny, all the places I’ve rambled, Ireland, and Scotland, and Norway, which are the origin points of much of my heritage are still unvisited. The good news is, those can wait as they’re relatively “easy” compared to some of the places of my rambles.} ty J&V, come visit

From another place, I have yet to visit and probably one not on the usual “tourist trap” these days – comes a lovely message from a Canadian, usually living in Vietnam but at this time in Ukraine (and soon to be in Japan). Note to self: give him a call

This fantastically well-travelled postcard, was harvested somewhere from the internets (Twitter?), but I have forgotten whom to credit so… if this is you, ‘thank you for sharing your remarkable artifact’ which seems to have leapfrog continents and hopefully eventually found a recipient (hooray for the incredible neural net work of postal services!)

My friend Katherine in Vic BC passed along this very cool “4 Sen” stamp from a bundle picked up at Smithsonian Postal Museum – I know that somehow along the way, the yen was all re-valuated as now 4 Sen (which means ¥4000) is about $40 CAD and in the old-timey movies, the money denominations seem to be all juggled up anyway, I just like the stamp. TY

One of us is very cool and nonchalant, the other is may be too excited, but, regardless, this is a fantastic postbox located on the 6th floor courtyard of a department store next to a hidden post office. I don’t understand the story behind at all but I’m always unusually excited when I have a chance to drop something in here and take the obligatory snapshot (you’ll find others with the same cheesy pose elsewhere no doubt).

Bonus!

New inky stamps and visit from a pal led to a postcard making session at a coffee shop (yes, my favourite thing to do) and, since I love trams/trolleys, combined it all with a note from a friend mailed to my own house. Doesn’t everyone do this? {the kanji characters say – from top to bottom: Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan + the postbox might well be modelled on the one above.

Post’d: a batch of postcards to shake to question marks (about concussion & pineal)

I’ve scribbled up a batch of postcards, both foreign and domestic. This is hardly new or surprising yet, in a rare instance, words elude me, and a great feeling of overwhelming malaise grips me.

{As it goes, the brain is a tricky organ to sort out that there’s really no reason for my semi annual existential crisis or consortium of conundrums. As it goes, I have a beautiful and brilliant wife, a wonderful and growing son, a safe and quirky home, a barn studio full of artifacts and projects, food in the garden and fridge.}

Optional digression: When it’s all “in the thick of it” you run down all the different scenarios / you see, I worked hard on building up all the good things reco’d to do; playing in the garden, exploring hobbies (plenty!), connecting with people, cuddling and hugging when possible (in a country where cuddling and hugging is not really much of a thing but anyway), diligent self-care, hot springs, rest, meditation of all sorts, avoiding news & screens… (except this present moment, ha).

Plus getting treatments from a wise and wonderful seitai sensei who is unlocking all kinds of neurological blockages (much residual from a car accident Christmas Eve 1988 in Jerome Idaho) which produces a near psychedelic experience which inadvertently includes tremendous floods memories long-forgotten or sequestered in someway, bound up in neurological and muscle knots in various parts of my body. It’s hard to explain except the pathways become smoother But darn it’s a bit of a rocky road to get there.

Anyhow, also exploring the effects of various concussions: there were four for sure in a three-year stretch (the vespa crash in Vancouver, then Pacifica California, Adelaide Australia, and outside of Chiang Mai Thailand) all generally untreated but definitely lingering effect, does that play a part? (Aside: all broke my super expensive prescription glasses as well as face – 3 if 4 landed on same right side of head).

And then comes question of performance / calcification of the pineal gland which controls/produces/releases dopamine, serotonin, melatonin etc. but, can get a bit stuck in the aftermath of medications and while I am very lightly medicated now, in the *early days* this was definitely not the case and there was also some self-medication going on while (too rapidly) tapering down from the heavy duty assortment of SSRIs, opiates, benzos, anti-spasmodic and other devious medications.

Finally was the cryptic diagnosis of bipolar disorder (if a 14 page fax report can be considered cryptic) from a psychiatric doctor with freshly hanged degrees from Stanford in an office which seem to have been popped up for a movie set or a prank the night before. Yes, the (snotty & snooty) report came at a very bad time, with no follow up care offered or provided by the medical system in the jurisdiction where I lived at the time.

Soon afterwards, at reco of an NPO brain clinic, I checked myself into a psychiatric ward which turned out to be a colossal mistake including a dangerous escape/exit in a sweaty white V-neck clutching a backpack rushing into the midnight of Victoria, completely confused, shaking and with absolutely no support from the people who should be trained to do the support. Yes, there are emotional scars from this yet I don’t feel like this is part of the current bout of depression.

Rather, I think my body has improved and changed really so much since starting at the Okayama University Hospital program that my brain is having a hard time catching up, so much new information coursing around, I am walking better than I have in 10 years, I carry my child on my shoulders, I move things around the garden, I’m up out of bed most every day for a while at least where this used to be definitely not the case.

I’ve learned to listen to my body and my body is telling me there’s something wrong with the physical part of my noggin which then affects the mental part. Does that make sense? It doesn’t to me except for the part where it does.

All I want is to be better each day for myself, for my darling wife, for my remarkable son and to be capable of the creations I will make in the future (yes, much of me wants to make everything, so many things, starting tomorrow but there’s something about putting on your own oxygen mask first or putting the foundation under the castles you’ve built in the air).

I’m taking the time to solve the problems out. I am safe.

So I start rebuilding from the foundation of: fold laundry, wash dishes, make tea and rice, and then write postcards to express gratitude and other varied emotions.

I’ll disappear again – surface from time to time while i figure out *what comes next* (note to self: the answer is obviously “nothing”) #LayFlat

Anyhow, I hope one of these postcards is for you.

Festive Greetz Cards Scrapbook Time (backwards)

In front of a wood stove, Dave stashes cards from the “string of honour” into archival book while recounting tales of the wonderful folks who sent greeting cards and letters to Tsuchida Cottage.

Very grateful for your friendship and lovely correspondence.

Along with banter about:

* having several scrapbooks on-the-go at all times

* special collections and on-going correspondence

* topsy turvy start to the year

* “lap projects” like mending and scrapbooking

* thoughts about last year (lots of paperwork!)

* theme for this year (letting go)

and usual digressions, meanderings and anecdotes (i.e. hanging stereo speakers and maybe something about solar panels). Oh, there is a Dymo LabelMaker in action.

Very grateful for your friendship and lovely correspondence.

Meanwhile I’m trying to tidy up the room a little bit so here are albums of postcards/greeting cards etc., duly annotated by Dymo label.

PS if I’ve missed sharing your card I probably shared under separate cover / somewhere else, or will do another time (thinking of you Astrid in Germany who’s art is already hanging up).

Post’d: well-franked from Wales, Portugal and Gifu + India returned

Quite an assortment in the Post box yesterday:

that right there is a beautiful quartet

1) postcard of painting of a postbox from Wales with a commemorative Queen Elizabeth 2 Memorial franking & 3 language Air Mail seal

2) postcard from a dear correspondent in Gifu who’s postmaster always does a fantastic cancellation stamp (subject matter: motels around the world)

3) big envelope with collage art from Portugal with a fantastic oversize 4£ portfolio style stamp

4) a postcard i mailed to India that sadly, was returned because “mail to this region is not currently possible“ – keeping it on standby in the meanwhile

Post’d: recursively delivered (while inclined) to Gifu & Greece w/ Zen

Postcards are scribbled, intentions pure, arrivals intermittent, thrilling nevertheless, as such, recursively documented in a situations and circumstances as possible, incomplete as expected.

where it starts & and where it ends is here

First, to a friend (who ive forgotten if met in real life or not, the coincidences are far more than coincidence after all) rowing through some turbulent tides yet radiates such gentle goodness – and a touch with curious scripted languages, meditatatuve practice, and love of typewriters. Sent him a talisman of good fortune right from the Zen source of the DT Suzuki museum in Kanazawa.

A very pleasant correspondent who shares, again, so many life touch points – but none within 3 m at the same time so far determined – replied back to a postcard of this very street corner, with a photo of him at this very street corner (the statue now toppled, the restaurant behind turned into 6 acres which was my secret hang out for sometime and where I did my “job interview” for what turned out to be my last job, kitty corner from One Alexander, Suite 420 where I spent another job and across another street – it’s a five street intersection – where wrote a snippet of prose about ‘three men in cowboy hats,’ one of which is seen in the background, at the “old Irish Heather” when the benches would still give you splinters). He replied with the following quote (& caption):

“Just as there are genres of skies, and car alarms, and many other things, so there are genres of the hangover. Tragic treatments, enriched with various amounts and shades of irony. The epic frame, which finds the hero, towards evening on the second day, still sitting there wiping his eyebrows with his fingertips and still saying to himself things like oh dear oh dear.”

— Martin Amis, ‘The Information’

“In a bad way in Gastown, summer 2005.”

This one found its recipient who replied (in amongst abandoned watermelons and possible pickling project) “Happy recipient up in the salty north!”

Well this was a digital postcard, hit the spot for my German friend visiting a Greek island where a Canadian poet once conversed with birds on a wire (and a well documented assortment of lovers)

Post’d: lovely correspondence with @Hez (involving Japanese characters, famous dogs, & wonderful paper / stamps)

At first blush, it seems to be extraneous to embed Twitter messages into this creative life archive (i’d best not make a habit of it) but my goodness!, this lovely documentation of correspondence with a real life friend in far away Vancouver stuck with me since our exchange of dossiers over the last couple of years.

I just didn’t want the artifacts to be lost into the endless vortex of ephemeral short form messaging so, at the risk of being redundant and forever incomplete, here is evidence – both written and photographic – of an exchange between a.k.a. @Hez and me (and my family).

Highlights include: her fine Japanese writing, and all kinds of papery treats (a mobile which was used on our festive tree), there are other “parts” to his but for now, here we go (note: I did my best to reciprocate by including some cute dog stamps to amuse her).

Continue reading Post’d: lovely correspondence with @Hez (involving Japanese characters, famous dogs, & wonderful paper / stamps)

Nostalgia for a Present Tense – Japan Cottage Musings

Nostalgia for a Present Tense – Japan Cottage Musings

Amidst construction on Tsuchida Cottage, Dave runs-down recent events, both contemporary (seitai treatment, café poetry, CBD shop, family life) and coincidentally historic (regarding, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Neal Cassady, SxSW, Beez, Cmdr Bob) with usual digressions about postcards, pacifism, creations, inspiration, book collecting, San Francisco, and removing the meta rather than enshrining dinosaurs – also namechecks for Joe Strummer, plus riffs about meditation class, Japanese houselife, wonderful in-laws, adorable wife and baby and current catching-up (trying anyhow) on correspondence, with special regards and affection for pals who are in transition and friends who are flying high.

Fondly, dvo

daveostory – Nostalgia for a Present Tense

Post’d: Round-up of letters and post making, vol. 2 (undated, variety)

Post’d: Round-up of letters and post making, mailed from Sanur, Indonesia, 2019

Sure, i mail a lot of cards and letters and dossiers of ephemeral treats, poems and painting. Especially to folks who have inspired me or otherwise lent a hand, and to folks (know and unknown) who seem to need a little spark to help them along their journey.

oh! the be an explorer… (envoys to distant lands)

As part of my semi-obsessive documentation for my memory and amusement, i assemble photos (likely) enthusiastic correspondents send of their received items, along with  “still life” photos of postal-related items or post-in-process, and often just scenes of post offices/workers/boxes.

a card to 3 of my fave youths

Often times these items are organized chronologically-ish somehow, or maybe to a theme, but some cases (including this instance), neither applies and what follows is simply a batch of odds and ends hanging out for another cycle into the world.

Generally an absence of annotations as the meanings either aren’t meaningful or rather self-evident (that said, maybe some annotations will appear). Carry on, bring your own stamp. 

a unpacked dossier with painting, poem, goat propaganda and a letter , stickered up envelope

Continue reading Post’d: Round-up of letters and post making, vol. 2 (undated, variety)