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Opening the Mail at CALYX: A Love Post

Throughout my recent internship at CALYX, I fell in love with opening the mail. Who would have predicted it? I’m perfectly familiar with the process—I rip envelopes open at my house every day. And my internship at CALYX included plenty of tasks that were much more intellectually stimulating.  But there was something extremely satisfying about opening the mail at CALYX. If this sounds suspicious, please let me explain.

First, there was the morning walk to the post office—I loved the chance to walk one sunshine-y block at the start of my day, travel mug of coffee in my hand, tote bag with the mail keys over my shoulder. The men in the barbershop were always smiling, and the Grass Roots Bookstore workers frequently gave me a wave. It’s always nice to spend time in downtown Corvallis.

Back at the office, I’d settle into my work. I would unfold the little letter-opener with a snap, like a jack-knife, into my palm. I would spin the pieces of the “RECEIVED” stamp into place for the day’s date. I would open the big purple pad of ink like a treasure chest. Then, I got to work—pressing those satisfying purple stamps onto every envelope, every cover letter, every happy check from every happy CALYX reader.

Okay, okay, okay. So, even though I’m being serious when I say that I loved these things, here’s the real truth: what I loved most about opening the mail at CALYX was the letters themselves. As the opener of letters, I became the bearer of good news: I opened letters from foundations saying we’d received grants, from supporters sending donations, and from readers sending subscriptions. There were books to review, journals to peruse, and poems upon poems upon glorious poems. All of those words (all of that creativity and passion and love!) passing through my fingers, under my stamp, and into the hands of the incredible women of CALYX.

Opening mail will never be the same.

-Liz Wyckoff