It’s been a few months since the launch of Maktoub 3 Loubnan, my very own little side-project. So far, I’ve received a total of 3 postcards. Unfortunately, snail mail is slower than initially expected but that’s alright. As long as I know that it’s working, the patient anticipation will make every postcard arrival sweeter.
What I do think about though is how generations before us used to communicate. The postal system was only functional for a good 150 years since stamps weren’t put into circulation until the Penny Black in 1840. And I’m saying “functional” as in, the majority of the world’s population depended on it for correspondence. Now, we text, email, and whatsapp. Communication is so cheap, so accessible, so…fleeting. Gone are the days when your loved ones had to wait months on end to hear your news or get an “I love you.”
Call me sentimental but snail mail is still a beautifully personal way to talk to someone. It takes effort to find the card, to write out the thoughts with ink, to slap on a stamp and pass it on for delivery. It passes through multiple hands and shoots to make the journey. But when the recipient gets that piece of mail, there’s part of that person on paper. It’s concrete and real. Ultimately, it’s human.
Could an email ever look like these?
I do hope that this slowed pace doesn’t discourage the rest of the Lebanese diaspora from sharing their memories of Lebanon via postcards. However, as an insurance policy, take photos of the front and back of your cards before posting them. That way, if your postcard doesn’t make it home, at least the photographic evidence will make it to my inbox. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.