Sunday, April 16, 2017

small talk and mail art

Sometimes we disregard the importance of small talk, look down on it as trivial.  But is it?  I just read a post by Felice Cohen, who gives a great example of small talk lightening the mood.  People who are good at small talk are a blessing for introverts (like me) who often stand rigid and uncomfortable in a crowded room.  A really good small-talker can take the tension out of a situation, leading the way to the discovery of common interests.  It doesn't have to earth-shaking to make a conversation fun and interesting.

Letters are mostly small talk; written conversations that don't go into depth about philosophical, controversial, or specialized topics.  They can cover everything from daily chores, to books you've read or films you've seen, to funny incidents in the line at the grocery store, to what's happening in the garden (the tomatoes are ripe or the milkweed is blooming, look out for Monarchs!).  

If nothing else, there is always the weather, which is always good or bad, expected or unexpected.

Conversations don't have to be profound and neither do letters. Letters don't need to be essays about art, culture, customs, science, or politics, etc.  That doesn't mean that important or intriguing topics don't come up in one way or another; they may be touched on without being dissected.  

Sometimes a comment in a letter will create a great deal of "post-thought" for me, and I love it when someone writes something that makes me curious, makes me think, causes me to consider a different perspective, gives me a subject to research and ponder.

Postcards are the epitome of small talk.  Small talk made even smaller, more concise, a few lines only--crisp little "thinking of you" messages.  

Outgoing Postcards

and letters

 
Happy Easter!
Hope you gather some gorgeous
eggs in your baskets!

16 comments:

  1. This is a great post for today, Jen! Mail artists, including me, LOVE creating mail. But then it comes to a screeching halt when it's time to write something. What to write? Nothing to say? I have learned that there is always something to say. There is always something to say to someone that doesn't know everything about you or your spot on this earth. Your post is a great reminder of this.

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    1. I got on a one track mind comment...I adore all your outgoing mail. The postcard designs are such fun and the envelopes are fantastic. I especially love the orange and teal envelope design.

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    2. :) As you mention, creating the envelope or postcard is fun, but sometimes the actual message makes us nervous! Another trick I use with the grands (who aren't interested in the garden, or the books I read) is to find jokes online.

      Q. Why did the chicken go to the seance?
      A. To get to the other side.

      :)

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    3. And thanks--I ordered some new stamps a couple of weeks ago and love that postman!

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  2. Oh, this is a great post.....also love your art (as always!)
    Happy Easter!

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    1. Thanks, Debra! Hope your Easter was a good one!

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  3. Always love seeing your mail art!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! National Letter Writing Month has me much busier than usual!

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  4. Yes, letters are a sort of written small talk. They help us stay connected, and sometimes bring a bit of home to friends who are far away.

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    1. Letters do help people stay connected. Email is also great for keeping immediate checking in, but letters require a different mindset and they are tangible. For some reason, being able to hold the message in your hand is important. :)

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  5. I have a misguided niece that was in jail for a while. I made a point of sending her a letter just about everyday. Most of the time I sent jokes and cartoons to lighten her day. I too am an introvert. Small talk does not come easy unless it's in the grocery store line or places like that. As I get older and am no longer employed I am even less inclined to put myself in situations that I must converse.

    Wonderful mail art in the post today.
    xx, Carol

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    1. I'm sure your niece loved your for your efforts! Small talk has never been easy for me, so I love people who can do it well and include me easily in conversation. I have a friend who can make anyone comfortable--she is a treasure in a social gathering!

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  6. Great post!! Like Carol, I'm not good in crowds, even when I know the other people. My small talk is usually limited to talking to the person in line in front of me or behind me at the grocery store *smile*. Now that kind of small talk I love!

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    1. :) I think blogging is great for people who are uncomfortable in crowds. We get to converse "sort of" one-on-one. Letters do that, too, allowing a one-on-one conversations in a comfortable setting. Brief exchanges in lines where everyone is bored, helps pass the time--and some people are very forth-coming so you can learn interesting stuff!

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  7. Great post! Small talk is an art though some are born with the gift of gab.

    Love those postcards!

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    1. You are so right--some people just have the gift!

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Good to hear from you!