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#Postbark: 365 Postcards, 365 Days

Chris Barker has developed an interesting ritual in 2014: Every day since Jan. 1, he has addressed one of his collection of vintage postcards, found a new backdrop, and taken a photo of the postcard before dropping it into the mail. Today is Day 100 of his project. Late last December, Chris was having what he calls a “quasi-mental breakdown” in a coffee shop, and starting writing down ideas on a sheet of paper, the kind of stuff you always think, “Hey, you know what would be cool? If I …” and then never follow through on. The postcard idea was one of them, and he decided to start Jan. 1. He got some addresses, a stack of vintage postcards, and started sending them out. Friends and family at first, even one to the second floor of his apartment building. He posts a photo of a postcard every day to his Instagram and Tumblr accounts, and it’s grown: he’s sent postcards to the northwest, the northeast, New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., and Mexico. 1 Chris writes inspirational quotes on the backs of the postcards going to people he doesn’t know so well, hoping that will add some longevity to the postcards when they reach their destination, and maybe they’ll end up on the fridge or a corkboard in someone’s office. Sometimes people see him on the street in Denver, taking a photo of some scene, with his new postcard in front of his phone, and give him funny looks, or ask him what he’s up to. I have trouble articulating exactly what it is I love about Chris’s project. Every time I see one of his photos on Instagram and Tumblr, I click “like.” I think maybe it’s that he doesn’t really expect anything from it—he just wants to send small pieces of joy out to the world from his end. He didn’t ask anyone to donate to his postage-stamp fund, or help him buy postcards, or put together a Kickstarter campaign. He really just wants more addresses: addresses

If you’d like a postcard or know someone who might like one, message him at postbark13 [at] gmail.com. His Instagram account is /chrisbarker13 and his tumblr page is postbark.tumblr.com.

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-Brendan

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8 Comments

  1. Nick
    April 10, 2014

    Another great post. By the way, I just listened to your Heroes episode on Fitz’ podcast, and it was fucking awesome. Keep up the great work, Brendan.

    Reply
  2. Kat
    April 10, 2014

    Hey,
    This is a random post to comment on (very cool post, just unrelated to what I have to say, but I couldn’t find an email address). Anyway. Random post, but I wanted to tell you your blog is pretty awesome and a really great inspiration. I myself am not even close to all the way rad, and while I love outdoor sports and climbing, I generally suck at everything and I’ve allowed that to limit my participation. BUT your blog has inspired me to go out there and learn some more stuff and bobble up some more climbs and huff and puff up some more 14ers about 200 feet behind all my friends (I’m a CO native, woot). So, THANK YOU for being so semi-rad and spreading your enthusiasm. Keep it up!
    Kat

    Reply
  3. jenn
    April 11, 2014

    This is fantastic, thanks for sharing it! And particularly apropos, since I just bought 2 sheets of postcard stamps :)

    Reply
  4. jenn
    April 11, 2014

    This is fantastic, thanks for posting it! :)

    Reply
  5. April 12, 2014

    I sure hope I get a postcard!! I love this idea

    Also, I wanted to share with you that my husband and I just got back from the Banff Film Festival and had the joy of listening to you read 35. My husband played it for me last year on our tiny laptop but it was incredible to watch it on a big screen with awesome acoustics. The film SUFFERFEST was also shown where Alex Hannold refers to Type 4 fun!! I think it is awesome that your stuff has such a wide audience.

    I’m still trying to find my audience, incredibly adventurous family of 4, homeschooling mom, teacher dad doing everything we can to keep our family outside, active and enjoying every day of life. This summer we are planning to bike 1000 miles across the transcanada trail in British Columbia. I need some readers who will appreciate these posts of mine! Most of my readers are my friends who do NOT get why we do the things we do…..

    My husband and I love reading your blog. Thanks for doing what you do!

    Reply
  6. April 22, 2014

    Was actually thinking about doing this myself but with a postcard from where I am that day since I’m in a new place almost every single day.

    Reply
  7. May 7, 2014

    Hi Brendan, just wanted to thank you again for this inspiration! I came across your post on AJ and got in touch with Chris. As I said, really intriguing project indeed and I just wrote a wee write-up myself. This thing deserves more attention…
    Best wishes, Oliver

    Reply
  8. June 17, 2014

    What a great project! I wonder what else was on Chris’ “wouldn’t it be cool if I…” list.

    Reply

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