A few months ago we sold a postcard on eBay from the first World War. We sell lots of cards from that epoch so selling it wasn’t too special. What was special though was the image. It was a row of dead soldiers lined up on the ground after a battle. Their wounds had been covered up and non had facial injuries. I’d rather not see cards like that. Even the ruins of towns, villages and farms can be shocking.
Yesterday I had to put the same card up for sale, another had arrived with a lot of postcards we bought recently. I have to scan the postcards and scale them down to fit eBay’s requirements; I managed to do all of this without looking too much at the image. Then I have to write about the card and examine the corners, look for creases and bends etc. I don’t know why I felt peace from the card – silence and peace. It reminded me of the extract from a poem by Wilfred Owen I'd used to accompany a postcard for armistice:
“Of them who running on that last high place
Breasted the surf of bullets, or went up
On the hot blast and fury of hell’s upsurge,
Or plunged and fell away past this world’s verge,
Some say God caught them even before they fell.”