Friday, March 26, 2010

What difference the Postcard Project? As far as I know, none.

This last weekend because I was sick, and slow, and couldn’t go very fast, Linda Cheryl and I matched, stamped and stickered through the night until 10:00 a.m., when I slept for 3 hours before getting up to write the postcards before Cheryl left on the Coho. We stamped 73. The set before was 60.

I honestly love every single postcard that goes out. I love this one of greenland, the ice meeting in the middle.
Over a week ago, Linda Cheryl and I pooled our funds to buy $100 worth of Stamp Oasis rubber stamps in auction. These stamps were now 11 years out of print and the only ones which stamp perfectly for Cheryl and I every time.Even slow and with neuropathy which couldn’t apply force on the left side, they still came out looking good. At least that is what a proud mother would say.

Some think that I do the rubber stamping, wooden stamping, stickering and postcards because it is one of many choices: that I could have knit, that I could have done scrapbooking, that I could have done a host of things and just decided on this.

The truth is I can’t knit, I don’t have the hand strength or dexterity for that. In Cancer World, a non-fiction memoir of life on an oncology ward: one woman, after finding out that the side effect of Chemo was tremors and she would not be able to knit, quit taking Chemo. She died. Last night, holding the volleyball to serve, the tremors were moving the ball a half an inch or more every few micro seconds. But a volleyball is a big ball. And I served into the net sometimes.

When I take my hand to stamp down, the stamp doesn’t always end UP on the postcard where I hoped it would. But it is close. Close enough. And when I lose all use or strength in my left hand, then I use my right hand, or elbow or I ask Linda to push on the placed rubber stamp.

I picked postcards because a) quite a few people seemed to want one from Japan, more than I expected. And b) sending something people wanted, doing something people wanted while I was being tested, having the nightly medical and pain nightmares and my entire life had seemed to be put not just on hold but into that static you see on a TV receiving no station. I was dissolved, I was undiagnosed, and that I couldn’t do anything about. Postcards I could.

First I wanted the best postcards. Then I wanted something Japanese, like Hello Kitty on them, then some of the rubber stamps. Experience soon taught me that if I couldn’t do ‘WHUMP’ into the ink and ‘WHUMP’ somewhere on the postcard then that brand wouldn’t work. If I couldn’t do that 100 times and still have it perfect then it wouldn’t work. That is why I ended up with the 4-5 brands that I did.

I send goth postcards, steampunk postcards, Twilight postcards, anime postcard, exotic lands postcards and postcards of art of all types. I send yaoi and Japanese woodblock prints, Frank Lloyd Wright and Turner, I send anime art of Aoi, of Narao, of all the famous artist, I send Cambridge and Bettie Paige, Astronomy and Blade of the Immortal. I send animals to children, I send planes to pilots, I send anything legal.

And what, in the end, does all the effort matter? I don’t know. I know that every week when the post office returns postcards, that I stole money, postage, ink, postcards, time and energy out of those I love the most. I made a bad choice, because they didn’t want it, or didn’t care, or weren’t there.

I do the postcards because it is one of the few things I can control in this world, and that I thought it was something. I drew my lot, made my best guess and decided to spend half of my energy and time into postcards. I do know that 4-5% of those sent are received (usually through a ‘got postcard’ line or email) and that 1%-.05% of those to whom they are sent are returned. Some weeks more postcards are ‘return to sender’ than any personal mail I might get. I aimed, I tried, I failed.

Please send all personal post to Linda or Cheryl. I will still choose and write every single postcard, and I will stamp a good portion of them. I just don’t believe anymore that I haven’t failed well, everyone one who believed in me, including myself.

See, in the melodrama, I wanted to be the Mysterious Countess, or ‘Poor but Honest’ or maybe a side role not even shown. I didn’t want to be Gwendoline (though nice set of boobies!), helpless, waiting to be saved. Certainly not, because who does save these days? No one has vocations anymore. People work at helping others to make the money to take care of their own. Work at health authorities for the condo, or the children, or the retirement.

No one will entering stage right to save me, and I never pretended I could save anyone, just maybe make it more of a community and less of an isolated world. But what is 4,600 against 6 billion. Two years of work is nothing compared to the spam bots, or the internet scam artists. And laid end to end, I don’t even think they are a half mile. What difference??

I honestly don’t have any idea what use the postcards are, but I send them anyway. Maybe one doesn’t need belief to act. If you want one, you only have to ask.