I had been on the search for postcards, and bought these for their beautiful artwork. Upon opening my package, I discovered that the entirety of the collection were pictures of a women alone. Would this contradict the camaraderie I was aiming to achieve with my letter writing?
As the year unfolds, I find that I am writing from a place that has taken on a more introspective shade, and have been handed a good look at aloneness. I mean the good kind. Is that not essentially where we reach to each other from- our quietness? The more I consider Wendell Berry's thoughts on solitude, the more I truly appreciate the quiet nature of these postcards. He says,
"We enter solitude, in which we also lose loneliness... True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One's inner voice becomes audible. One feels the attraction of one's most intimate sources. In consequence, one responds more clearly to other's lives. The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature, the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures."
I used to think the women on these notecards were almost sad and relished their sadness, but interpreting their mood through the lens of this year has me realizing that perhaps we have all had a little more time to breathe, a little more time to be alone, and have taken a little more time to feel. Perhaps I am even sending these post cards to people who may find themselves able to meander a little more solitarily, a little more attentively. I feel the deepening importance of community, and its counterpart of solitude. In solitude, we "distinguish the pure spirit which inwardly moves upon the heart." Only then do we gain control over the tongue. "Only when we learn to be truly silent are we able to speak the word that is needed when it is needed." (Richard Foster, Spirit of the Disciplines).
I'm now aware that these women have rich inner worlds, and as they write their songs and take time to feel, they are are also planning their next lengthy note to a friend and an open air outing, to draw others into their new found joy!