I got distracted from my own blogging by a stunning and terrifying blog by someone whom I first accused of being nothing like me, but the more I read the more she is like me. I've been barely keeping a day ahead of posting about the North Carolina trip -- ask John, he's the one who has been receiving chapters to censor as little as an hour before the post goes out. It might be a while before I catch up with writing my own adventures. It might be a while before you want to read mine again, after reading Elizabeth's.
Elizabeth McClung is a Canadian, but she refuses to fall into the national characteristic of settling for third place. She survived some very dark childhood chapters, wrote an award-winning novel, excelled as an amateur epeeist, fell prey to a bizarre and inexplicable disabling condition, took up boxing (yes, in that order), went to Japan, and now endeavours to send postcards to everyone who needs them. There's a tiny Flowers for Algernon feel to some entries, as you get to read first hand accounts from an off-the-charts intelligence on what it's like to lose temporal lobe function.
She's also aiming to keep breathing almost twenty-four hours a day. Most people would include that last one in their goals, if prompted, but few people have to work as hard at it as Elizabeth does. Most people would be dead if they had to. She goes at everything about 150% harder than I do, such that when she was told to get an electric wheelchair because she didn't have the physical capacity for a manual one, she got a manual one and started competing in 10 km races. If I pushed as hard as she does I'd be flying the Space Shuttle by now. All the life lessons in the blog can be overwhelming, but it's readable and hilarious (remember the bit about award-winning novelist) and I've also discovered that people who love goth and animé aren't as different from me as I thought, and I can handle that one. Who even knew there was Goth Hello Kitty?
I know if you've been on the net as long as I have you've heard this one before, but Elizabeth is not a little boy named Craig trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. She is a real person, feeling a little cut off from the world because she doesn't get outside much anymore. So here's my Christmas request: Read enough of her blog to get a little feel for her as a person. It doesn't really matter if you read the early entries full of epee fighting and praise for her novel, the newest entries about the Olympic Torch relay and badminton, or something in between: she's the same person throughout. Some of the entries are about dying in horrible pain, but not so many as you might expect from someone who is doing exactly that. If you like her, send her a postcard to say hi, or some stickers, cards or stamps (U.S. or Canadian) that she can use for her project. When she approved my posting her mailing address she insisted that I let you know that she would love to send a postcard to anyone who is lonely or who would just like to have a postcard.
PO Box 2560
Port Angeles, WA 98362
(Yes it's a US postbox: she lives near the border).
If you're going to forward this in any way, please include a link to one of her blogs so that people can check to make sure postcards are still wanted and she and her partner are not buried in millions of postcards, the way the former home of Craig Shergold is.
I'm going to make this post the beginning of my end-of-year blogging break. I'll put up one more post in the next couple of weeks reviewing the year, and then I'll see you again on New Year's Day.