Neighbors

"SEA CUCUMBERS",  2005, naked raku, size varies

"SEA CUCUMBERS", 2005, naked raku, size varies

Where I grew up we didn’t know any of our neighbors.

It was suburban Detroit and car country.. the land of INdependence, NOT INTERdependence.

We carved out our fort and erected big walls. MINE, MINE, MINE!!!!

I’m single, have progressive MS and am finding myself not that interested in making walls these days.

I have spoken before about my ‘people-pleasing’ skills leaving me less than authentic and the diagnosis of MS having given me the impetus to do the work it took to find the REAL GIRL.

Well, interestingly, it seems as if I may be segueing into a desire to CONNECT rather than the last few years spent with my attention on letting go of what didn’t work; the emptying out in preparation for the attracting in.

I saw this yesterday as I attended a new MS support group being held in a place called Rainbow Vision.

My friend, Carlos told me this was a particularly vital group of people which included a wheelchair athlete.

As I parked and went through the doors of this place I noticed something happen to me.. I FELT REAL GOOD! Just by walking through the door.

I just took note of this and proceeded on to find the room where the meeting was to be held.

Turns out the date had been changed so no meeting but I sat and spoke with Melinda, the  director of the place.

Forgive me as I am still unable to link to websites within the blog but I’ll tell you about this.

RAINBOW VISION began three years ago as a sort of retirement community geared toward the gay and lesbian community.

It is a gorgeous place. Well appointed with an amazing array of amenities: restaurant, gym, bar, in-house phys. therapy, shuttle to anywhere.. the list goes on.

What impressed me as Melinda and I spoke was the foresight of the place to realize that this kind of environment would appeal to the straight community as well. People like me who wanted interesting people around, to live in a lovely spot where a sense of smart-community was a high value.

In my efforts to look down the road for myself, things like grocery shopping, driving, just the effort enlisted in daily living are seemingly simple things we all take for granted until we can’t.

If I fall, I wouldn’t know my neighbor’s name to call out to for help.

I listened to myself say in conversation yesterday that I prefer to be around people who have been shattered in some way or had their ‘ego rug’ pulled out from underneath them. It sort of shocked me when I said it. Why is that my preference?

Because if, for one reason or another, one is catapulted out of the status quo through disability, sexual orientation, color, life preferences or happenings, there comes a point of choice: Is life bigger than me or can I make a good one from what hand I’ve got to play?

It is HUMILITY and CREATIVITY and INCLUSIVENESS and COMMUNITY  and CONNECTION that interest me now.

Rainbow Vision let me see a model of the old communal-living style jettisoned into the present by cleaning up the place, recognizing peoples’ need for privacy as well as desire for community as well as an elegant life and providing services in case of need.

There’s a significant sense of safety when I think of it.

They put a twenty first century spin on the possibility of taking DOWN the walls.

Doing this disease without a partner is challenging at best. I am attracted to the idea of having like-minded souls around me.

Not sure what that will look like.. just noticing the changes in me.

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