Vintage Tweets

Vintage postcard 1910

I drive down the empty morning streets when a neon orange sign beckons me.  Black, bubble letters proclaim, “Garage Sale” and a large arrow points uphill.   On a whim, I make the turn.  I park and stroll a driveway lined with beat-up tables.  Knick-knacks, kitchen gadgets, scarred frying pans, and other junk cover the tabletops.  I thumb through old issues of “Life” magazine that stand upright in a dilapidated cardboard box.  The last item is a gallon Ziploc bag filled with vintage postcards.  Intrigued, I pay a buck and return to my errands.

A few hours later, I sit staring at the Ziploc bag while I carefully sip a hot cup of Sumatra.  I open the plastic pouch and fall into the world of Miss Rose Bonacich aka Mrs. Rose Lepetich.  These quaint cards, decorated with vintage art and photographs, reveal short, taut messages in elegant, cursive script.

A glimpse of Rose’s life appears as I read the short notes from her friends, lovers, acquaintances and relatives.  Holiday greetings, proposed get togethers, and romantic lines fill the flipside of the small cards.  Cards depict a foreign city named “Trebinje,” and familiar landmarks such as Yosemite and the Golden Gate, recognizable even without its trademark bridge.

The City of Trebinje

Notes include 1911 New Year greetings from Rose’s friend, Frances.  Ella, another friend, chastises Rose for not answering her “ring” and reminds her that they are “putting up pickels” the next day.

1911 Happy New Year

Two postcards hint at Rose’s romantic life.  John, whom she later marries, sends a note postmarked December 4, 1909.  The pant less  policeman, Cupid, shines a lantern on two startled lovers.  The headline:  “The Love-Light in Their Eyes.”  He ends the note with “I am yours.”

Vintage Postcard postmarked 1909 Ullman Manufacturing

Two months later,  another beau, F. M.  Doan,  light-heartedly writes Rose about her marital status.  He acknowledges his continued singlehood.  The teasing tone of his note contrasts with the picture of  an angry man and woman confronting each other.   The headline: “We Love One Another But____.”  Mr. Doan ends his card with “Write me.”  The underlying message:  marriage is not the answer and Mr. Doan is still available.

Vintage postcard 1910

F. M. Doan's card to Rose

The capricious purchase of a Ziploc bag of vintage postcards launched me on a creative journey.  I read the cards, studied the  photographs and artwork, and imagined a young woman’s life in 1909.

The postcards act as that era’s tweets: short, punchy writing conveying the writer’s momentary thoughts.

Will our tweets, posts, and texts intrigue readers in 2112?  What do you think, Rose?

Vintage postcard 1910 Girl

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Jostling Routine: “Beam me up, Scotty?”

Part of  my creative journey is to jostle habit and consistency.  Today’s jostling finds me in a long, narrow room with a tiled beige and white floor.   Twelve attendees either sit on individual chairs or  two tan sofas, three abreast.  I make my way to a sofa and sit between a man with wild, white hair, and a matronly woman with tightly, coiled curls.  Stern faces and serious brows abound.

A tall, thin British man stands and welcomes us to meditation class.  He is our guide.  He begins with a series of breathing exercises.  I discover I don’t know how to breathe. Attempting to follow his five short breaths in, hold for five, and breath out for five,  I am hopelessly confused and increasingly light-headed.  In a decidedly unrelaxed manner, I internally say “screw it” and return to my shallow, constricted breathing.

He gently reminds us to let go any unbidden thoughts as he begins a visualization. In a soothing voice, he describes a white, sandy beach with a glowing sun.   The sun’s bright warmth fills my body.  My mind glides to the cat’s hairball in the hallway at home.  Did anyone clean it up?  Definitely let it go.

The instructor continues in his calm voice and asks us to visualize light beaming from our bodies.   Suddenly, I hear “Beam me up, Scotty.”  Where did that come from?  I let it go.

A few more guided imageries ensue and my mind settles.  As the class ends, I ‘m not certain if I have received the intended benefit given my wayward thoughts.  I look around the room.  No more furrowed brows.  Faces are softer.  Something worked.  Maybe I’ll come next week.

Neeyah, Notchless Willie and the Unconscious Mind

Creative Waters - The Unconscious Mind

” ‘Don’t remove the veil, Neeyah!’  The voice was like a sharp slap on a soft cheek. Neeyah saw no one.  Just like the last time, the harsh voice arose somewhere deep within her soul.  The voice frightened her.  She had no desire to remove the veil.  In this land, men, women, and children were all born with veils.  The veil acted like a thin membrane of protection around the delicacy of the flesh.  Removal of the veil was forbidden. Without the veil, you did not exist.”

Names, ideas, people reside in my mind.  They pop into my head at odd times.  “Don’t remove the veil, Neeyah,” appeared  as I stared out my kitchen window, watching the big oak bend in the wind.  Within a day, I sat down and wrote the above paragraph and four additional pages.   I haven’t finished the story, but I’m close.

“Notchless” appeared unbidden while I was driving  my car.  When I arrived home, I googled “notchless.”  I discovered  a “notchless triangular prism”; a “notchless CW hood”; and a “notchless gene.”  No enlightenment.  Other tasks called and  I moved on.

Two days later, I woke up and the first thing in my  brain: “Notchless Willie.”  I closed my eyes and saw “Notchless Willie” spelled out in white on a black banner.  What tiny piece of information or momentary vision did he spring from?  What to do with him?  I don’t have the answers yet, but they will come.  My unconscious mind leads me to the story if I keep the door open.