Friday, March 23, 2007

Gone Postal

One day when I was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design I found a confusing card in my mailbox. Fitted through punched holes along the left side were varied thicknesses and lengths of natural looking yarns and neatly hand-written next to each sample was the color name. Words like: alfalfa sprouts, tofu, granola, spirulina, tahini. If something out of the ordinary happens at an art school the first assumption is that an art event is taking place but on the other hand I felt this was a personal message to me. Did I recognize any of the hues as colors that I might wear? The other students had a more current sense of couture and perhaps someone was trying to let me know that I was projecting the not-so-chic tones of the health-food store. It remained a conundrum until months later.

Another time someone was kind enough to leave a note with this advice written in small letters:

I was sitting next to you in class and I couldn't help noticing that your ears needed cleaning. Just thought you'd like to know.

A fresh Q-tip was taped to the card. I say kind because the note was unsigned allowing the Samaritan to give helpful guidance while avoiding the embarrassment of a whispered take-aside. I quietly slipped the Q-tip into my bag and walked out of the busy hall. Maybe it was the guy at the library's front desk who I mistakenly passed unshaven one day who put his hands on his hips and said, "There's such a thing as personal hygiene you know!"

It wasn't until later when I was sitting with some people in the textile department that someone described getting the same note with the Q-tip. The guy we were with said, "I put hundreds of those in people's boxes. I got bored sitting in the mail room all day." I realized instantly that the crunchy-granola color samples were probably just an old weaving project that he had done and rather than discarding his trash he could disseminate it and give it new life. Nobody gets letters anymore.

-Doug Rugh

This journal entry is now available as part of a compilation in ebook form:

Epub and PDF formats
102 Entries
26,700+ Words
95 Full-Color Illustrations (Oil paintings by the author.)
2006 - 2010

More information here.

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