I sent five postcards to people who I don’t know at all: email requests. Eight postcards were posted to people I haven’t heard from in a long time. One postcard to ask someone I haven't heard from this year how they are. Seven postcards to friends, people met only online through Screw Bronze. And two postcards mailed to individuals who lifted me up with the postcards they sent, a message to hold onto through the pain, muscle degeneration, and fatigue. Postcards I hold while suffering. 23 postcards sent on Monday.
Some of the postcards are from a book I can’t replace, another from Sakura-con two years ago, and others from Japan. Some of the postcards are from a book I can’t replace, another from Sakura-con two years ago, and others from Japan.
The stickers for decoration I had bought at fairs and collected over the last 18 months. The stamping was finding some Halloween themed stamps. It was fun; Painful in the doing and recovery, but fun! I sent postcards I would have loved to arrive in the post. The message: I value you as precious.
It took me about 25 minutes each postcard to make, decorate and write. Time well spent. Does it help to know I laughed and smiled while decorating?
The last few years have been hard, for almost everyone I know. People lost jobs, homes. We are only now able to hold even, with no savings, and scared. I am weak, and often cannot lift or move even my head. I just lost 24 hours, going to bed and thinking I was getting up in 8 hours, I lost a day. Only, so weak, unable to move, with the fan blowing on me to cool me, I have had my tongue split apart like chapped lips. In the center, inches long, my tongue split because my body is too weak to make saliva, and too weak to turn my head.
So, to spend the energy, to find and search for the best could be a huge joke on me. 95% of the messages I send out, I will never hear back. Which means, using the limited funds, resources and energy to spend 25 minutes on someone I will never hear from again could be seen as foolish.
I want whoever gets a postcard, and they are sent: five one week, three another, ten the following week, and now 23 postcards, to people who I hope understand, that I care about them. Yes, I am in pain and I am afraid, but I act anyway. Because when all that comes into a life are bills and notices and junk mail then getting something that says, ‘I like you, how are things?’ will matter.
If it doesn’t matter, then I am a fool. The joke is on me because a few thousand postcards in a sea of hundreds of millions who are isolated, alone. Or with social messaging, I am a redundant act from decades ago. I have dedicated myself to tilting at giants, like isolation, depression, companionship, and human connection.
I will keep sending, and I’ll reach 7,000 postcards sent soon enough, if I live long enough. There is still beauty. I want to share that. If you want a postcard, email me, and when I am not ill, I will send you one. I can’t do much, but I can do that – though it takes the hands of many friends to help me.
I am an academic, a lesbian who IS married, 17 years, and a full time wheelchair user, now power chair user. I write about disability issues on the blog Screw Bronze and up to Nov. 2008 on BBC's OUCH! Currently I am working on the postcard project (sending out a postcard to everyone who wants/needs one! Over 5,300 sent. To get a postcard for free click the link below!).
Yeah, I'm terminal, I'm end stage, I have days without hope - so similar to all those years of retail jobs during Xmas. Hee.