It’s not so popular now, but here are a few essays having to do with stamps and stamp collecting.
I admit to being weirdly obsessed with old stuff and how it was used. I imported European antiques for a couple of years and always wondered about what went on at that veneered walnut five-drawer desk from Belgium that smelled of perfume? Did a mother write letters to her son in WWI from the desk, not knowing they weren’t read? That her son had already died? And the stamp on that envelope? Was she paying a bill or sending a family recipe to her sister in Southern France?
There’s the Great Man view of history, that culture and the world and people are the effects of what a few great men decided to pursue. There’s truth to that, and it’s hard to argue against. But I am more inclined toward what I call the Breakfast Of Eggs view, that history is the whole of every person, every statement, every purchase, and of every kiss.
And in every lick of a stamp.
I wonder, too, if there were stamp placements for when you were irritated beyond words. I haven’t seen that postcard. I see here that an upright diagonal placement means ‘I Am Faithful to You.’ How do you code ‘I Just Slept With Your Brother’ or ‘Glad You Forgot Me?’
It’s that time of year, and an embarrassment of reading riches pour into my inbox almost daily. What to do? Share.