The One With Sarah and SY: Postcard found in Melbourne

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey in Paris and New York, you can read a summary here.
   
Ok – hands up! I left this one hanging a little while…
 
My first postcard location in Australia was the State Library, Melbourne (catch up from the previous blog post here). I was hopeful for a response and was delighted when I received a message to say that the handwritten note had been found. But that particular interaction never developed to anything more and I thought that the moment had been and gone.
That was until I heard from a lovely couple from Malaysia, who had found the postcard within the library while they were on holiday in Aus. I was delighted to hear from postcard finders, Sarah and SY, who sent a wonderful email telling me all about their story. Kindly, they are happy for me to share their words….

“Hi Rachael!! Hope you’re doing well!

My boyfriend and I (photo below) have been in a long distance relationship for the last 18 months. If you have never been in a long distance relationship before, I have to tell you that it is simultaneously one of the toughest and most rewarding things that I have ever done. We don’t often get the chance to go on extended holidays together and Melbourne (in June) was our first one this year.
Sarah & SY on their trip to Melbourne

Sarah & SY on their trip to Melbourne

It was a wet and miserable afternoon in Melbourne and we had gone out to meet a friend at the State Library. In the lobby there was a little umbrella which had been left unattended on the bench and right next to the umbrella was your postcard! We sat down and started reading it together, half intrigued as this was the kind of thing you’d only see in movies. We googled 60 postcards, read all about your story and wow… we just knew we had to try to help your postcard continue its journey and to spread its message. 🙂

Serendipitously, at brunch the following day, we were sat at a table with some Malaysians, one of whom was based in Pennsylvania. We began to tell them about how we had encountered the postcard and how we wanted to see how far we could send the card.  

I often wonder about our connectedness as individuals. The fact that I am writing this email halfway around the world and the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, will be reading this entry on your blog is testament to that. As I am writing this, I also realise that although we may not see the threads that bind us, we are connected in more tangible ways than we may realise. On a personal level, I relate very strongly to this, being in a long distance relationship, and sometimes not being able to physically spend time with my boyfriend for a few months at a time. 

Being apart from one another does not make the relationship any less real or any of the fights we have had any less painful. But, above all it does not make any of the moments we share when we are apart any less precious. Being part of your story has made our already memorable trip even more so and for that we both thank you.

Best wishes,
Sarah and SY :)”
A beautiful message from a beautiful couple. I was touched by the words and their take on the project and it was particularly interesting to hear how Sarah related with the project through her experience of a long distance relationship.
 
It is a lovely reminder that while the project may have been born from a struggle with grief, scattering notes for strangers is not just about the loss of a loved one. It’s about being open, sharing stories – whatever they may be –  and creating connections. The world may be huge but as Sarah says, we are more connected than we realise.
 
I am staggered to say that the Australian leg of the postcard project has brought more responses than ever before and I look forward to sharing more stories from finders all around the world.
 
Sarah and SY – thank you for becoming a part of the project.
 
Until next time,
Rx
 

What’s Your Story? A Postcard Left in the State Library Victoria

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

Ey up,

Part deux of the Australian postcard tales continue today, with the story of where my first postcard was scattered in Melbourne.

As I rambled about in my previous post, after enduring severe hand-ache with the frantic postcard-writing (as per), I decided to set off to the State Library of Victoria to deliver my first handwritten note.

When I asked a passer-by on the street if I was heading in the right direction, they gave me a warm but slightly strange smile. Weird. Turned out that the grand building was directly behind me, just across the road from where I was stood. “Oh yeh, that looks like it – must be the jet lag” I said, as the shade of my face rose to match that of my BRIGHT RED cardigan. I do love a bit of colour coordination.

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I set off up the stairs to the building (still cringing from my blind moment) and took a look around the library, full of gorgeous reading rooms and…well…a hell of a lot of books (over 2 million, in fact). Despite wandering for a while, I already knew where I was going to leave the postcard – Palmer Hall. A lovely blog reader sent me a message before I set off to tell me about an interactive display there called, ‘What’s Your Story?’ Perfecto.

The display featured videos of different people from Victoria sharing personal stories. Visitors were invited and encouraged to share their own stories, which will all be collected to become a part of the permanent State Collection there.

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Undoubtedly this display was right up my street. It brings it all back around to the power of storytelling – one of my greatest passions, particularly in personal stories. Although they are often very tough to share, I think it is a great way of celebrating the uniqueness of us all while also allowing us to create links, to relate to each other and understand each other better.

I couldn’t resist taking part so grabbed one of the cards and wrote a message under the ‘family’ section with a short message about mum. I snuck it in the pile. Being a tourist and not a fellow Victorian, I doubt my note qualifies for the collection! Still, it felt good to get involved. It was also a good distraction from my main purpose there. It was a decidedly tricky place to be nonchalant and drop a postcard without anyone seeing. I stalled for a while and walked around the exhibition re-reading everything about 100 times. Also did a few too many loops around the little shop which just drew attention to me even more as I was asked, “Can I help you?” by every member of staff which I think was translated as, “What is your problem, why aren’t you buying anything – are you a thief?”

The crowds had died down and there was no one around the story card collection drawers. I seized the moment (definitely out of blogging practice – just had to remind myself how to spell, ‘seized’. Gah). I popped the postcard into the drawer then casually and cooly (slash none of the above) wandered out of the room and then out of the library feeling that familiar nervous excitement.

Some days passed and I actually heard from someone who said they had found it in there. But all I had was a name and an email address and I haven’t heard anything since. Putting that one down to a beautiful moment in time and very grateful to that person as they moved it on within the building. It didn’t go unnoticed as I saw the following tweet…

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They couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it and, of course, I got in touch with the finder to hear their story. A lovely one it is, too.

Until next week…