Postcards Between Poles: Virtual Pen Pals in the U.S. and N.Z.

Did you have a pen pal while you were growing up? Or do you have one now? I had several, and I loved writing to them and receiving their letters. I had long-time pen pals in Japan, Fiji, Switzerland, France, Lake Tahoe, CA, and Scranton, PA, among other places.

Now, this was before the internet, which lets us send instantaneous video-embedded messages around the globe. While some may still revel in the simple act of putting pen to paper and writing out thoughts in longhand, then licking and stamping an envelope (perhaps even embellishing with stickers, doodads, or sealing wax), there are others for whom this sounds as quaint and efficient as rolling a message into a bottle and letting it float out to sea.

Elise and I met online, as it happens. I was immediately drawn to her beautiful, and often whimsical, photography, and the playful way she portrayed her and her family’s life in New Zealand. She was drawn to my message of slowing down and observing life’s small moments. She proposed a blog in which we sent electronic photos and postcards across the globe (and across seasons) to one another once a week, following a simple theme that we alternated choosing, and adding a short message.

The result is Postcards Between Poles.

The photos for the diptychs are taken the week they’re sent. The postcards often are, as well, though we allow for a little stretching of time where they’re concerned.

As Elise writes on the blog:

A postcard is a glimpse into the life of someone we know or a stranger.   The image on the front and writing on the back cleverly capture a moment in history that tells a story.

I find that receiving delightful electronic missives does replicate some of the surprise and joy of receiving a letter from an exotic place. I hope you likewise enjoy coming with us on the continuing journey of Postcards Between Poles. Did you, or do you now, enjoy having a pen pal?

These are just a few of the postcards we’ve exchanged over the months.

Cape Palliser, Wairarapa, by Elise
Tibetan Prayer Flags, by Elise
Rainbow Laden, by Suz
Spring has Sprung, by Elise
Granary Burying Ground, by Suz
San Francisco Storefront, by Suz

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2 Responses to Postcards Between Poles: Virtual Pen Pals in the U.S. and N.Z.

  1. Beautiful idea and work!

  2. Thank you! It’s been a joy to create. Elise is a complete inspiration in every way.

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