Tag Archives: thought

Benevolent chaos 3.0

There’s a picture on our fridge at home of one of the first, if not the first time we went to the PNE. If you’re having a bad day, all you have to do is look at that picture and the bad feeling is suddenly not so bad. We are on the old wooden roller coaster, terrified and travelling at high speed to say the least. It grows on you after a few tries, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the kids’ faces in this photo.

The feeling I have today, and the feeling I’ve had for weeks now is very close to how I experienced that introductory ride: terrified, traveling at high speeds, stomach-dropping, jaw-clenching, knuckle-whitening, face-altering, gravity-fuelled, I really hope this seatbelt works kind of exhilaration and breathlessness that leaves you stunned for a moment afterwards before you decide that, yes, that was…fun, and you feel ready almost for another go.

I’ve switched gears, jumped wave-lengths, pondered much and packed and unpacked a ridiculous amount of boxes. Today has not been quite the warm and fuzzy kind of day I was banking on, I feel pretty woozy. But, for the moment, everything that needs doing is done, and I feel I’ve done pretty well.

Find you stride, keep your eyes open, time is fleeting.       –S. Riesco

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Making it home

Home can mean so many different things. I’ve been doing so much work behind the scenes to settle-in in the best way possible. I need a space to call my own. It doesn’t matter, really, how big or small it is. The essentials are that I can sleep and work and read and generally, take a few strides within that territory that becomes solely my domain. It needs to be comfortable, well-lit, and well-planned, if not well-organized. And not too over the top. It is my safe place. I need a safe place to return to, always. I don’t know what I would do without one in the physical world (I’m getting better at going there in my mind, but at the same time, the significance of physical space or place can not be overstated). I’m working on paring down. I delight in seeing things go out the door to another life and another love.

Today, I’m even more delighted that I have energy to spare and a clear head.

–Sam

 

 

strange brains

  1. I had the weirdest dreamscape last night… There were some Muppets, and baseball, and angels –and some very drunk wannabe cowboys…
  2. I hope today doesn’t end up quite so bizarre. It could be long. It could be fun. It will definitely be wet.
  3. Laundry is 50% done and I found some new shoes!
  4. There is no ‘away’. We have to become more aware, tackle complexity with gumption and small injections of humour. Because who wants to be serious all the time? That’s no fun.
  5. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but if you haven’t seen the documentary Icarus yet, you definitely should!!!

That’s all.

Things to do, places to see, people to meet!

All the best to you,

–Sam

NVCI+PWD = ??

A few weeks ago I attended mandatory workplace training in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and learned a few basic practical applications and physical intervention skills 

As the aggressor one may decide to grab, hit, throw, punch, kick or yell. As the  person being targeted, one may have to avoid, deflect or escape various holds, blows and violent behaviours intended to do you harm.

Each person ideally wants these 3 things in play: Movement. Stability. Safety. If you can’t move, that is a problem. If you fall over at a whisper, that’s a problem. And if you’re not able to maintain relative safety, that is a problem.

Here’s my problem. On either side, aggressor or target, in this scenario, with my current skills and training, I can never have all three in play. Rehearsal was laughable and entirely unrealistic for me as a disabled person, crutch user and general non-combatant (arm-wrestling and logic aside). All this training did for me was to highlight how vulnerable I really am, how invisible disability still is, and how fantastic it would be to have an All Bodies Defence Project* to go with All Bodies Dance Project**(www.allbodiesdanceproject).

The messaging I took away was basically, ‘Girl, you are done for.’ The training session was an ablest convention where disability was simply not part of the conversation, there was no awareness, no adaptations or suggestions or even acknowledgement that someone might have limited mobility or other impacts on their participation or experience from either side. It was geared toward the angry, middle-aged, able-bodied white, male stereotype, and everything else was simply out of scope. Everyone played along. I improvised and was invisible until the final 60 seconds when the facilitator gathered everyone round, thanked them for their participation and then pointing a finger right at me said, in a sing song tone suitable for babies only, with not a clue about how fast the day’s work could be undone and his ignorance confirmed, “And you too, dear –you did a great job. Thank you for coming!”.

Respect individuals and their experience. Please! Don’t single me out in a crowd as ‘other’. Don’t talk to me like I’m a child. I am an intelligent, strong, independent, capable, full-grown woman and human being. I have a name, I am actually wearing a name tag: My name is Sam. It is not Dear. Now is the time to practise what you preach.

I wanted to hit him. Instead, I walked away. And nobody noticed. Nobody understood.

It was a very disappointing day.

–Sam

 

*I’d love to attend a class on self-defense where persons with disabilities and without could learn and practice skills together to stay safe and there was input from and representation of a variety of people and disciplines (ie: differences in strategy for sighted vs blind or partially sighted persons, crutch vs wheelchair users, youth vs senior, etc.)

**As a dancer with All Bodies Dance I feel respected and valued. Rehearsal is a place where everyone comes to learn together and share experiences, where differences are acknowledged and new ways to move and work together are discovered. Where I never feel out-of-place or at a disadvantage. We dance and have fun doing it in all sorts of non-typical ways!

 

Fine lines

Here is an article by Crippled Scholar which I really enjoyed… read more.

Language is important, history is important, and disabled is a part of my identity that I value and advocate for. No one is invincible. Nobody is perfect. We are all human and we shouldn’t be avoiding the conversation. It’s not a choice between euphemisms and insults, it’s about clear, honest, thoughtful communication.

And just FYI, ‘special’ makes my stomach and eyeballs roll.

–Sam

As is.

The imagery that springs to my mind with this quote, again from Bones, is wonderful:

It’s like describing the moon to a mole.

Understand the facts.

Draw your own conclusions.

Be kind. Explore. Forgive.

Sometimes your reality is not shared, and that’s ok.

Sometimes this one is not infinite or absolute.

It’s not good or bad, it just is.

Quiet brilliance

I’ve finished reading my book, and found my feet again. And my hair is driving me nuts! 😛 Anyways… I awoke on Saturday having no idea what time it was and later discovered I had by conservative estimate slept 14 hours straight. I felt amazing. Saturday was amazing. I felt so alive and so loved. Also, Twink got a haircut and while Mom is probably still laughing, I think he looks very dapper 🙂

Sunday, I bought a tiger onesie (Rawwr!) for the supposed Halloween celebration at work  where everyone who has one will be wearing one!

Today was just about average. Except I’m really happy I still have some energy and time to blog and drink tea and just generally revel in everything I’ve accomplished until now, today, and so far this year, which everyone keeps reminding me is almost over.

I’m glad to have JHTK on board and helping me stay on top of all things BB-related with humour and vision. The future looks bright!

–Sam

We make our lives out of chaos and hope. And love.              –Angela Montenegro, Bones

 

healing

Time has been doing strange things lately, and today, too. But I’m feeling more centred than I have felt for a while and following my own healing process which has been good all around.

For me, play and sleep make everything so much better. I sleep like the dead so I can rejoin the land of the living. And the last 48 hours have been bliss.

Currently waiting on laundry and planning my next move.

Life is good 🙂

–Sam