August 13, 2016

I am the stamp

I left the land of clogs 
Flying low over reclaimed land 
Tulip carpet stretched to horizon
My message written by steady hand.
I flew over vineyard and mountain 
Across idyllic islands 
Over the turbulent waters 
On to the Middle East.
I flew across vast desserts
More seas than fish counted 
Continents and borders were nothing 
To the power of this stamp.
Gunshots rang in the streets below 
As I flew ~ untouched by fog and humidity 
I traveled on ~ scarcely marked
By that messy humanity.
I flew over volcanos and land faults 
Touching the edge of the Ring of Fire
 Mesmerised by ocean currents 
Deep sea trenches I admired.
I flew to Southern climes 
Language and skin of many colours
The smells were getting stranger 
As we bumped across cirrostratus. 
I landed on New Holland
Smack bang in the middle 
Deserts surrounding occasional oasis 
Red, brown and green a patchwork riddle.
The weather was impossibly hot 
It nearly caused me to come unstuck 
Placed gently in the letterbox 
I waited for hands to pluck. 
I am the stamp.
Reflections on the Connected Learning MOOC (#CLMOOC) postcards project
To preserve privacy we turn our postcards (see Karen Fasimpaur post) to their face. What has really captured my attention is the stamps and post office markings. The postcards have bought a sense of 'place' much closer. While we talk about weather and timezone differences during Hangouts and Twitter chats, it is the stamps that have imprinted the distances for me.
It was not until I received Ron L's postcard that I felt the distance between here and there. I created this piece to become the stamp as I travelled between Australia and The Netherlands. Often we operate in a 'flat' world on the internet and this has its benefits. We can escape the hierarchy we might find binds us in the organisation we work in. When I see these stamps I read them, trying to decipher the date and time and place. My own memories of travels to those places kick in. This tactile movement allows me to feel the space, the distance, the culture of another place.

POSTSCRIPT: Kevin created a song from this poem. You can read his two posts about that here and here. Or you can listen to the song on Soundcloud. Across the waves, we create. Thanks Ron and Kevin.