Long Live The United States Post Office!
Don’t ever forget how magical it actually is that there is a system that allows you to send someone a note and items in the mail.
Of all of the things to be grateful for over my life, and especially the past year, the USPS, as well as the postal systems and interlibrary loan networks of the world, are in the top 5, easily. I’ve had a lifelong fascination with the mail, and it has continued to pour its magic into my life.
We saw the USPS come under fire on a whole new level in 2020 as the pandemic raged on and as those who would do evil sought to tamp down its magic for the purpose of voter suppression and disenfranchisement. One of the biggest insults to me was that #45 put someone in charge that seemed to not only not care about the USPS, but held actual disdain for a service that is a lifeline for medications, veteran’s benefits, and correspondence. And, with all of the atrocities piling up, it was hard to get the advocacy it deserves. The people who keep the USPS going are heroes. They deserve better.
Do you disagree with me because you mostly only get junk mail? You have the power to change that! You can change this by putting some love into the world by sending postcards and letters or even creative packages. You can also subscribe to art! Yep, you can subscribe to chapbooks, zines, art. Imagine, it’s like Amazon, but without the emptiness and soullessness of bland capitalism, and it helps artists sustain themselves! (Rather than help Jeff compete with Elon in a who’s-the-best-at-hoarding-money-and-power race.)
This past summer I was honored and delighted to have work included in a chapbook called Quelle Presse out of Salt Lake City, UT. After the book was printed, the editor shipped copies of the book and stamped postcards to send out to our readers. It was interactive without a digital platform, and it felt lovely, personal, and intimate.
I signed up for Brooke Barker & Boaz Frankel’s Snail Mail Party on Kickstarter. It was, and continues to be, so much fun! I love their work, and I love that they share my exuberance for the magic of the mail!
And, when we were gearing up to launch our super fun and silly podcast for kids, we made our own mini-zine and mailed it out like crazy. We also included instructions to make your own. It was a great project to do with our 6-year-old, and it was so fun to hear back from kids who enjoyed coloring it in and reading it.
I am a mailing and shipping addict, and I have no problem with this habit of physically manifested and proved love and gratitude.
And in 2020, I mailed apples and persimmons to my power circle. Yes, yes I did! And, I used rosemary as a packing material. This brought me so much joy, even when two of the packages went on mysterious journeys. This actually became pretty complicated because there are forms and requirements involved that were challenging and time-consuming (especially in Pandemic conditions!) But, as I said, I’ve doubled-down on my shipping and mailing addiction.
Here’s another great writing challenge to consider — write a postcard, note, or letter to someone one day a week. Pick a day, maybe Sunday mornings? Write it with a pen on paper. Let them know you give a shit or even love them. Why not?
Send me a postcard or a letter, and I’ll write back! I’ll send you a Power Dog zine, too!
Phoebe Owens, PO Box 12723, Portland, OR 97212