Bridging Disability


untitled, 1999, 24″ x 4″ varies, ceramic, steel
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Yesterday, I gave a talk at Southwestern College’s Grief and Loss program.

We were a circle of about 15 people.

I woke up in the morning feeling REALLY happy, healthy and eager.

I had been up most of the previous night fretting about my outline and making sure what I wanted to say was cogent and well organized.

I laughed into the mirror as I thought: “These are people who are interested in what gifts and surprises can come from being intimate with the shadow. They likely will not be harsh judges of me. I AM THE AUTHORITY on my own life anyway, so why not toss the notes and just speak from my heart?”

And so I did.

And the words just ran like an impossibly alive river.

They were just there for the saying.

And I took pleasure in the real interest of the group

And my friend sitting next to me as support and timekeeper

And the kind of awe in my own comfort level

As I revealed the frustrations, tools for living and razor’s edge inherent in managing the shattering and reclamation of a life in partnership with disability.

It was an honor to have the opportunity to be witnessed in this way by very conscious students of life.

People willing to sit themselves down and be still for a few hours without the buffer of texting or phoning anyone.

I left their circle feeling gifted with the luxury of unadulterated attention.

They witnessed me with intelligence, compassion and open hearts.

And because I received that gift

My own heart had a far larger capacity

As I hobbled out into the big world once again.

More ready than before

Because I knew those folks had my back in a way.

And I could feel it.

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One Response to “Bridging Disability”

  1. Sue Cleveland on January 11th, 2011

    Hi Cathy,
    I was one of the 15 at the class at Southwestern.
    Thank you for your time, honesty, vivid sharing and joyous heart.
    Your blog is a gift.
    Sue Cleveland of Durango, CO.

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