Pondering Postcards

A GenXer’s recent social media piece, “Send me a postcard,” in reaction to being unable to find postcards on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, evoked memories of documenting my pre-computer world travels with postcards.

greece-postcard for blogI shared my youthful adventures with family and friends through colorful pictures and brief, excited notes. A bundle of now yellowing cards shows the Greek island where I once took a sabbatical from marriage and motherhood, my travels through Egypt, and incredible trips across America.

Instead of today’s obsession with photographing every moment, postcards still enable us to revisit the moments as we experience them without compulsively recording everything through our handheld devices. How much of an experience is missed as we juggle the phone for a selfie or let its camera view the moment, instead of our eyes?

When I finished the article, I wanted to send the author an email, thanking her for her thoughts. But alas, like so many GenXers, she listed no email address, though she mentioned a website, a blog, and references to being on Facebook and Twitter.

I have social networking profiles too, and am even on YouTube; but I don’t participate on a daily basis. I think Skype is fabulous, especially for distant grandparents. But I still want to see my “friends” face to face or voice to voice.

Gen Xers no longer use email or even talk on their “smart” phones. I don’t feel a need to be in constant touch with a virtual world, like the 85 times a day they average. If she didn’t text him, my sister says she might never hear from her son. But those of us who love the language cringe at its 140-character destruction of grammar at the thumbs of youth.

So young folks, have compassion for those of us who still like to look at the sky, smile at passersby, and hear the songs of birds. Quiet soothes us like a balm. We’ve grudgingly accepted email as necessary and we know we have to text if we want to stay in touch with our grandchildren, yet we still are delighted with personal, handwritten letters and the occasional postcard.

grand canyon postcardWhen I used to commute and invariably became snarled in traffic, I kept in my purse a stack of blank, stamped postcards from my collection, and my address book (handwritten) and, while waiting, I’d send a few lines letting others know I was thinking about them. It was a more pleasant alternative to road rage and a quick, easy way to nurture relationships with those we care about. I admit though that sometimes the recipient is confused, thinking I actually was at the Grand Canyon. Or at the Sphinx.

Just as a GenXer joins us in regretting the demise of the postcard, must we older folks bemoan the end of email? Don’t leave us behind in your quest for having the world in your hand. Smell the roses! Become comfortable with silence and your own thoughts. Look people in the eye and smile. It will raise your serotonin, the “happy Hormone” levels, as well as those who receive your smile. Who knows, you might even discover, without the constant input, some insight you’d never thought of about yourself and others.

Think of it as respect for your technologically-challenged elders. In twenty years, your thumbs will be bigger but those devices you cling to as if necessary to life, will be replaced. One can only wonder, with what?

Be in Beauty,

Judith

Judith Trustone, filmmaker and author of The Cats Secret Guide to Living with Humans and Celling America’s Soul: torture & transformation in our prisons and why we should care, directs Sagewriters & the Global Kindness Revolution, which to date has distributed more than 70,000 Kindness Cards throughout the US and South America.
Box 215, Swarthmore, PA 19081
www.Trustonekindness.com; Judith@Sagewriters.org
610-328-6101

Global Kindness Revolution? Of Course!

Please take a moment and peruse this very well-written and informative article by Sharon Day, executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force. It aligns with my Global Kindness Revolution and asks if “respect, love and kindness can create a revolution”! http://bit.ly/13P5Pn7

Waiting Room Blues

seniors-tv watchWhen did the medical community decide it was imperative to our health that daytime TV was required to dominate every doctor’s and hospital’s waiting room? As we of the Repair and Maintenance Age (RMA) so often do, I recently found myself stuck for more than an hour while waiting for a relative who was having a “procedure.”

I’d brought work to do and a novel to read in case I felt lazy. As someone who writes at home, part of my attempts at discipline mean never turning on the TV before 6:00 pm. So I have little exposure to the daytime “celebrities” who float across the waiting room screens. Continue reading

Mean Madison Avenue – Why we need a Global Kindness Revolution

[This is the first of occasional blogs commenting on various aspects of our culture.  I’m calling them: “Earth Musings”]

Perhaps the young geniuses on Madison Avenue are products of the violent video generation. The tone of recent television ads makes me wonder—are they selling products or promoting meanness and an even greater lack of civility than already exists? Here are several examples:

Capitol One credit card ads star Vikings whose violence and roughness would never make me want to sign up for anything they’re selling. Swinging guillotines? Pouring hot tar over people? I don’t think so. Does this reflect the caveman mentality that permeates our male culture, exemplified by the recent effort of some politicians to take women back to the fifties and earlier? Continue reading

Byard Lancaster, a Warrior with a Horn

Sagewriters’ Music Director is in Spirit

Byard Lancaster, a Warrior with a Horn
August 6, 1942 – August 23, 2012

Sagewriters is sad at the passing of our dedicated Music Director and Jazz legend, Byard Lancaster.

Byard’s dedication to our work, his commitment to encouraging young musicians and writers – especially those “at risk” – and his ability to connect people around the world, leaves a hole that can never be filled.

A talent recognized globally, Byard entertained from Philly to Chicago to Jamaica to Paris, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Guinea Montreal, and anywhere that jazz was performed. Continue reading

As We Move into the “Sweet” Holidays

I know the brownies, pumpkin pies, marzipan and candy canes fill our lives at this time of year. But we need a teaspoon of reality to at least consider cutting back on our sugar intake. Please take a moment to read an enlightening article from Mother Jones magazine. Adjust your Holiday menus accordingly.

Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies
How the industry kept scientists from asking: Does sugar kill?
—By Gary Taubes and Cristin Kearns Couzens

Be in Beauty,

Judith Trustone

Back in the Groove

Dear Friends and supporters,

First I apologize for my long silence. As some of you know, I was broadsided by a distracted driver over a year ago and am still in treatment for my severe injuries. Sagewriters and the Global Kindness Revolution have been on pause since then. (See below for an update.) I am deeply grateful to those of you who so generously sent me “green energy” through my local bank to help with the bills. Your expressions of support and caring have kept me going. Now, something exciting is happening and I hope you’ll be able to support me once again – it costs only a moment of your time. You’ll have to register but this doesn’t mean you have to do anything more or use Yahoo. Continue reading