The Line

2000, 11″ x 11″ x 4″ each, m/m
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As I traveled over the past week I got a snapshot of the state of the union.

Granted, most of my time I spent in a hotel or in the airport.

But I still found myself taking the pulse of the thing; my compatriots at arms: my fellow humans..

And what I found was this…

We are hungry.

Hungry not for the stuff of gardens and grocery stores.

But for the kings’ treasure of a soft smile with eye contact.

Or the recognition of a job well done.

Maybe the extra two bucks added to the tip when the wheelchair pusher guy waits a longer minute for me as I put on my lipstick in the bathroom at the airport and his boss is goading him to “HURRY UP!”

The unabashed “THANK YOU, so very much” to the three guys that chose to stand behind me to catch me if I fell as I climbed the stairs of the little tiny jet we boarded from outdoors.

Each day of travel was a challenge for me as it is for every person.

I saw so clearly that life gets good and fun and rich when I can pull it together to rise above my personal fears (I truly don’t have the strength to get from the hotel room to the airport), and complaints (There is no friggin’ way I can sit next to this person who is wearing this perfume), and beliefs (I am not strong enough to climb that flight of stairs).

To see that a shift in POINT-OF-VIEW is my only real savior.

It is more than ‘take a lemon and make lemonade’.

It really boils down to widening my sphere to INCLUDE OTHER PEOPLE.

In the case of the airplane stairs I needed to climb, one moment I was close to caving into tears but by God’s grace I turned it into an invitation to the three handsome men standing in line with me to back me up in case I fell.

They were on it like heros, all…

What I saw was the fact that those around me had me in their periphery view all along as we do for those more fragile than ourselves.

They just LOVED getting the job I gave them I think partially because it made everyone heave a sigh of relief that all was ok and the issue was fixable AND they were the FIXERS!

I am starting to get it that disability is a no-mans’-land because of fear.

I am afraid because I NEED STUFF THAT I DIDN’T USED TO NEED.

Others are afraid because they don’t know how to offer help without the fear of patronizing me or taking away my freedom.

And so, I saw that life becomes less solitary, sexy, an adventure and the big and fabulous mystery it is meant to be when I CAN EDUCATE AND INVITE others to participate.

I am seeing that it is tempting to cloak myself in a tight little tornado of self-sufficiency and certainly there are times for that.

But the rest of the time it gets more interesting with invited guests.

comments

3 Responses to “The Line”

  1. Laura Hegfield on April 26th, 2010

    whew…accepting help…giving through receiving…my whole eft tapping session today was exactly focused on this. YOU are amazingly courageous and inspiring you know…YOU have to KNOW this…I’m telling you…it is true.
    gentle gentle steps, inner as well as outer

  2. Glenda on April 27th, 2010

    I love your description of the choice you made to either close yourself off from others or invite and educate the people around you. That decision is one I need to be reminded of often as it is easier to stay inside and keep silent struggling with this disease by myself, then it is to be vunerable to the wonderful world around us by asking for help when needed and offeriing to help when I can.

  3. Caitlin on April 30th, 2010

    Tiska’s voice runs in my head reminding me that our disability can give us the opportunity to educate others, to invite others to help, and give them a reason to be helpful. And we model for our children (at least for Bridge) that it’s OK to ask for help … even if “we look SO good …”

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