June 23, 2023 •
Summer 2023 editor’s letter: The stationery practice
I took my first yoga class in 1998, but I was several years in before noticing yoga referred to as a “practice.” I take that to mean there’s no finish line. Since I’m always changing, learning and growing, no two classes are the same.
So, while I learned to read and write at age 4, I did not begin a stationery practice for decades, until coronavirus. It started innocently enough, with a vague 2021 New Year’s resolution to write to people when I felt grateful for them.
I wasn’t thinking of the more common, transactional use of thank yous, sent for a gift, a job interview or a dinner party (although I still send those too). I meant more intangible kindnesses. So, an early one went to a high-profile community member who talked up my podcast in a Greeting Card Association Town Hall, believing in me as I was questioning myself. I wanted him to know that his confidence gave me confidence.
So while I once only verbally recognized acts of generosity, I’ve learned that articulating my feelings on paper and then sending them off into the world is an incredibly powerful, lasting act. And so began my fledgling stationery practice. This activity fits right into our times of slow living, simple pleasures and valuing cherished relationships. After all, there are few acts “slower” than composing something for someone, and then nearly forgetting about it until it reaches them.
Here again, there is no finish line. Since our lives are always changing, no two cards I send out are the same.
There’s so much uncharted territory here, and I sincerely hope our community discovers and rediscovers the joys of snail mail. You only truly understand the magic of stationery once you dip into it. A letter carves out a distinct space in time and space, and we are so lucky to sell access to it. If you don’t take advantage of this gift to truly understand its dimensions, you might as well be selling light bulbs.
So now that I have an official stationery practice, I also have an official avatar from Rifle Paper Co. Let me tell you, she’s a joy to send out into the world! Looking at the boxes of them, artfully tied with baker’s twine, I think about all the words that will one day fill every last flat note. How can you not feel a bit of wonder — and more than a little hope?
Until next issue,
Above illustration courtesy of Rifle Paper Co.