NOTE: This comes from a post that was originally published on March 22, 2016 in a separate blog. In the interest of simplicity, I have consolidated that post onto my main blog page.
If you have found this post, it is likely because you have received an envelope containing 3″ by 5″ index card from me in the mail or possibly in person. You might be wondering why I’ve sent you that card and why I wrote what I wrote on it. Hopefully, this post will answer your questions.
It was late in the evening of March 14th, 2016. I found myself alone after my wife and kids had gone to bed and was attempting to clean the house but failing to find the motivation to do so. I eventually decided to go out and walk around in my yard for a little exercise. I found myself thinking about the upcoming week while listening to the same three songs (tracks 10-12 on this album) over and over again.
As I paced back and forth, I came to the realization that I was going to spend Thursday at a funeral for my godmother’s father and that day was also going to be my brother’s 30th birthday. Unfortunately, he was not going to be there for it, because he died on June 21st, 2014. I thought about all the things I wish I’d said to him, the things I was proud him for, the things I loved about him and my regret at the things I had said or not said or done or not done. Compounding this profound sense of sadness and loss were the relentless waves of anger, primarily generated by hysteria surrounding the 2016 US Presidential Election, being constantly pumped into my consciousness via social media.
Increasingly approaching emotional overload, my mind came back to the music in my headphones. I thought about the songs and remembered that I had been introduced to the musician’s music by a friend of mine who was my girlfriend during my sophomore year of college. Thinking further, I thought about how she had introduced me to a large number of my favorite musicians, but I had never told her that. I’d also never told her exactly how much it meant that she showed up at my brother’s memorial service, even though she barely knew anyone there besides me, my mom, and my wife. The more I thought about these things, the faster my brain was flooded with additional thoughts about all the people who had stepped into my life at various points and helped pull me through the darker moments.
Something in my soul began to demand that I express these thoughts of gratitude, but how? While I could text my friend or post on her Facebook wall, I knew that I needed to do something more tangible than that, something unique enough to draw attention, but not ostentatious or overbearing. That’s when I heard (or perhaps felt is a better description) a small voice in my head say, “Index cards. Send them an index card with everything that needs to be said.”
From that moment on, the idea for this project (for lack of an adequate term) began to pour out. There would be no need for grand gestures – just humble expressions of thanks and regret sent on an index card, as mundane a manufactured object as you will find in the modern world. 30 square inches of paper, hopefully enough to everything that I always had meant to say but hadn’t. So I ordered the cards, started writing and now you are here!
If you’ve read my disjointed ramblings thus far, let me answer a few questions you might have (if you have any more, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them here):
- Are you dying? – Only on a cellular level, as far as I know.
- Have you gone crazy? – Maybe by the standards of the world, but I’m okay with that.
- Are you looking for a favor, money, etc? – Absolutely not. This project is about expressing gratitude, not seeking any sort of rewards.