Back in 2009 as I tore open a letter the large stamp in the top right corner caught my eye. It was a picture of a dragon breathing flames; a tiny piece of artwork licked and stuck onto a mundane white envelope. I cut out the stamp, threw it into a drawer and forgot about it.
A year or two later I received a package in the post from a relative in South Africa. Sprawled across the top of the brown paper parcel was a striking collage of native artworks; stamps that framed a menagerie of colourful birds. I tore the collection of stamps from the paper and put them in the drawer.
Last year’s birthday followed by Christmas came and went, and with them posted cards fluttered in through the front door. They were beautiful, fully clothed in their plain envelopes. Drawings of historical faces who pioneered great change peered at me. Moments of impressionable times painted inside tiny scalloped frames greeted me. Religion, art, engineering, natural history: all these stamps were a tapestry of life. I collected them. From the front of an envelope they soon discovered the inside of another as I stuffed them together in one. And then put them away in the drawer.
Today they took their final steps. From their intended journey on the front of an envelope, to behind the glass of a wall-mounted frame. Amassed together, their stories are being told in chorus. Altogether, a tiny tapestry of our world’s tales.