I love cards…artsy, handcrafted greeting cards. No matter how far my creative journeys take me, my hands always wander back to folding and soothing the crease in a card, wading again into that delicious “you’ve got mail” feeling. For my art, cardmaking is home base. Everything else stretches out and lifts off from here.
I’ve always loved getting mail. Bite-size bits of encouragement….like gorgeous little cupcakes. Perfect portions of love and care. Something about slices of beauty I can hold in my hand feels like heaven blowing me a kiss. Because I can touch and see it, I’m able to catch and keep it as a token. Cards are sticky notes for the gimpy places in my soul: “I’m loved”…”someone cares”….”I’m not alone”….”It’s going to be okay.” Somehow a visual speckled with well chosen words gets inside of me. It sticks. I remember.
Maybe it’s because I leak. When life’s ugly pins and prickles pierce my thin skin, I can lose several pounds of hope within seconds. I think that’s why I love encouragement…the way it can flow into a bruised heart and lift it, tweak perspective, drive away heaviness and infuse it with courage and joy. Maybe I seem them as patches. When I sense the hissing sound of air escaping from a punctured soul, I can pull out a patch and help with the repair. Or reinforce the fabric of a heart that is shredding. This is strong medicine; a phone call or even hug doesn’t do the same for me…..they leak out too easily. Go figure. Maybe it’s my wiring.
Years ago my heart began perking up to messages that seemed tucked into every nook and cranny of the gardens I tend…written in the ripples like the universe passing me a note in class. Browning wrote, “God is the perfect poet.” I’m hungry to hear from this heart spilling over with such creative beauty. I admit it: I need to be encouraged. Reaching for it, like a message from a bottle, I dip in and let the soothing balm wash over me. My cards are the images that flow from the encouragement I’m sipping. Like when bulbs push through rock hard earth and insist on beauty, I sense “you’ve got mail!” And I’m eager to share. Feel free.