Being in the post office affords me a certain stillness. There’s usually a short line. At the main post office, however, the lines are long and you could wait a good 15 minutes before your turn. I always like to look around, observe the people, the notecard sets on the wall, the postal clerks. I have yet to see a speedy postal clerk. They all move at their own slow pace, like they have all day, chit chatting with each other.

The good thing is I don’t usually go to the post office in a rush; otherwise, I just might find myself annoyed. But the great thing about seeing people go so slow and calm is that it reminds you that life doesn’t have to be a rush. If you go too fast you can miss out on many simple and beautiful moments; they’ll slip by like sand streaming quickly through an hour glass and before you’ve had time to look up, times up–little kernels of sand are gone and where did they go?

Whenever I’m in the post office, I wonder what it would be like to work there. I think I’d like it. I’d like helping people figure out how to fill out the forms for shipping their goods, I’d like to smile and offer them a pleasant experience at my window. I don’t know…maybe there are other reasons I can see myself there–or I sort-of want to see myself there. In part I think it goes back to my childhood, but that’s a post for another day.

For now, I like the association that I have of the post office: A calmness and sense of slowing down. And the thing is I find myself at the post office a little more now, since I often need stamps–and the reason I need stamps is yet another post for another day, that I’ve been churning around in my head because I can’t decide my angle, where my point of entry is. That’s the fun thing about writing: There really are so many modes, so many containers, and ways to begin; and at the same time, sometimes there’s so much that it can be hard to decide what to include. I’ll jot down small bits as starting points in my Notes App to get something down, and when I have my mind set, I will come back to the notes and maybe use some parts or use them as a reminder or a starting point. It’s like keeping these jottings on a writing back burner, simmering away.

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About the photo: Recently we took a trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea and I took a photo of the P.O. Boxes on a Sunday when no one was around. Well, one gentleman was coming around the corner, as you can see. I couldn’t believe how old these boxes were. It was great. I have a P.O. box locally and it has a key. These look like they unlock by combination. I should have taken more photos and close ups…next time.

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