Mail Art by Gotham Chick

I’ve been a member of Swap-bot.com for a half year now and I’m still learning.

I principally joined upon the urging of Kat (of CuriosaKat) who I had bumped into in the Postcrossing  Philippines group on Facebook.  I initially resisted the urge to do Artist Trading Cards or ATCs but I eventually gave in and have enjoyed it.  Mail art, however, is something new.  I did try to join a decorated envie (or envelope)  swap at the start, but I got scolded for not understanding the instructions.  I had made the envelope, decorated it, and sent it in another envelope.  I didn’t realize (stupid me) that I was supposed to decorate the envelope, stamp it and send it on its merry way.  (Lesson learned..)  I had to resend, and I got my rating of 5.

Sometime in December, though, I had gotten overwhelmed, overcommitting myself — and I ended up with delays that caused two ratings of 3.  (Ratings are important to join other swaps.. it’s the equivalent of street cred in the swap community.)

The two below were mail art I created for a recent swap.  I’m going at it again with another swap this weekend, and I think I”m getting the hang of it. Some very interesting mail art have maid it to my box and if my pictures come out okay, I will be posting them here soon.

These were made by printing over repurposed brown bags… they came up very grungy which was the effect I wanted to produce, and some printed stickers I picked from the web.
Mail Art by Gothamchick

Mail Art by Gothamchick

Mail Art by Gotham Chick

Thoughts that take me home

Three days ago, I woke up to an update from a dear, dear friend I have known for probably 41 of my almost 47 years on this planet. She belongs to a select few who I consider my true “kababatas” or people I grew up with, although we did it in the confines of the classroom. These days, the ladies in Manila are fortunate to be able to meet up and have reunions and catch up on the challenges and joys of motherhood, married life and work. I am green with envy. My best means of being a part of those heart-warming get-togethers are the pictures they post on Facebook, and the occasional e-mail.

I try to keep in touch through the birthday prompts I get. Not much, I know.

We always expect good news when we get an update from friends and family, but I wouldn’t consider the update I got as good nor bad — but it made me pause and sigh a prayer to the heavens.

I know that the e-mail update took all of my friend’s strength physically and emotionally to pull together. There are letters like those that I wish I could muster the strength to write, but the subject matter is, by itself, too heavy a burden to sit through with pen and paper. So I let the thought linger and fade.

All I can do is say a prayer.

I see my friend in the pictures — and she’s still smiling. That makes me smile with hope because it shows me she is fighting on. I close my eyes and I think about her and I picture myself surprising her and giving her a hug.  I smile but the tears threaten to come. I am reminded yet again that life is short. I send another prayer to the heavens hoping I be given another chance to hug her, even if I don’t know when I can go home again.

Even writing about it can bring me to such emotional ambivalence. 

I have been fortunate to have been blessed with many dear and true friends.  In that respect, I consider my wealth priceless.  During those times when I felt like I was at my lowest point, they have helped to bring me back to my senses and have showed me that I am more than blessed beyond the treasure that my family is to me.

These are the thoughts that take me home… to my dear, dear friend for whom I pray for the healing touch of God.

 Central Park in the fall (Great Lawn)