Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Freedom

The photo to the left represents freedom. Freedom for me. It might not look like much, just three little pieces of varnished hard wood. Nothing fancy. And it's not very large. At it's highest point it is a mere 30". It is 14" long and 10" wide. And it weighs a whopping 7 pounds. It's not much to look at and probably would garner a second look from most folks. But it offers a little bit of independence--ever so much--that makes my heart sing.

It doesn't take much these days. I have had to learn to adjust to limitations. They define much of my life now. I cannot stand on tip toe, climb a ladder, kneel on the floor, sit cross-legged...so many things I can no longer do with my foot and my leg that I took for granted. Retrieving any sense of autonomy takes thought and ingenuity. I can reach many things--up or down--with the help of my hand-held grabbing tool. I can step up onto and down off of curbs if I take my time and concentrate all my energy on balancing on my cane. I have learned to sit on my butt and scoot around into the hot tub or onto our boat. I can sew if I use my left (less dominate) foot to run the pedal. Incremental steps from semi-paralysis to resuming many of the activities I could do before. If I could just reach up a little higher...

And so, I found my new little wooden friend. It was sitting brightly in a driveway at a yard sale. Normally I would have hardly given it a second thought. But I had recently been to the orthopedist where they had taken x-rays of my foot. In order to get to the level needed I was proffered a metal stool with a handle that I could use to leverage myself up onto and down from it. I had done this before but never thought of how useful such a gadget could be in my life. Until I found my little stool. Sitting there, waiting for me, as if it had been created just for me.

Now it sits at the ready just steps from the kitchen. My little stool has helped me reach those bowls and platters that I previously had to ask someone else to help with. We don't need them so much any more, my stool and I. It has liberated me. Baby steps...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Apologetics & Apologies

It must be nice (or so it seems from your passionate desire to stay there) in your ivory tower
Where everything is black and white, plain and simple, right and wrong
Where you can spout off about freedom
         (except freedom of speech, the speech that you so ardently                shout out from the safety of your edifice while meanwhile                wanting to deny that same freedom for others)
Freedom to have as many freedoms you want, including the
Freedom to deny freedom to those different from you, those who look different or act differently or feel differently or whose life experiences you could never hope to understand.

It must be nice to live a life so bereft of knowledge, understanding, empathy that you don't have to hear the cries of the disenfranchised
          But can shout them down, swatting at them like irritating gnats
Cries that have no basis in reality--or so you think.
Simply whining, spoiled, self-centered cries.
They are so--or so you think
         Because in your ivory tower-existence you see only your experience.
The only experience that really matters.

Why don't they just get over it? Pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Get a job? Go to college? Quit sucking from the government tit?

Oh, you say racism in America is over but you have no idea do you?

Have you ever...
         Been denied a job, a seat in restaurant, human decency because of your skin color?
         Been afraid to walk down a street, leave a convenience store, drive a car legally, host a pool                   party?
         Felt compelled to teach your children to fear law enforcement officers?
         Felt the ugly stares or comments because you married or are dating someone of a different race?

Well, you can have your ivory tower. I want no part of it. I am angry and disgusted and guilt-ridden.
And I'll stay down in here in the street with the disenfranchised.

Am I a bleeding heart liberal? You damned right I am! Shame on you for not being one too. Your blindness, your prejudice, your hatred are accomplishing the goal...keeping us separated, unequal, unsettled.

It must be nice...