I feel like we’re all sort of in a fog together, trying to find out way out of what is going to be the worst mass disabling event of our lifetimes–and as I’ve found out over the past almost-four years, there is no way out, there is only through and there is no end. Therefore, I give you a few waypoints that may help you on your journey.
- Against Access, by John Lee Clark. This essay, about a language used by some Deafblind people called Protactile, is incredible. “Ramps, elevators, wide doorways, flashing lights, railings, benches, assistants, care workers, and myriad technologies make all the difference in the world. But the way those things are lobbied for, funded, designed, implemented, and used revolves around the assumption that there’s only one world and ignores realms of possibility nestled within those same modes.”
- Is It Laziness, Or A Sign You Need To Slow Down? “…laziness is this kind of demon that we all think that we’re possessed with, and that fear of laziness is something that has been really easy to turn against us and to use to exploit us and to justify exploiting other people.” Lots of interesting things to think about here.
- My friend Day Al-Mohammed wrote a fantastic essay about disability last month: Disability: An Identity That All Can Share. “Disability is one of the only identities that can happen to anyone at any time. This means when you get a concussion and afterwards you have trouble processing – you’ve got a disability; when your grandma needs a walker – she’s got a disability; when your friend develops diabetes or has anxiety – they’ve got a disability.” (Also includes a picture of Gamma, the best-worst guide dog ever!)
- The Great Surrender: How We Gave Up And Let COVID Win. “I feel like someone just told me 2 + 2 now equals 22, and a lot of people seem to agree with that, even though we all know math doesn’t work that fucking way.” In so many ways, this is the worst timeline.
I Got Sober in the Pandemic. It Saved My Life. And yet this makes me believe that not all hope is lost:
Getting sober in a pandemic meant I had a long runway to taxi before I really had to negotiate sober social interactions. Most of the new people I met were in Zoom rooms online and were predisposed to be kind to me, because we were both trying to stay sober and both acutely aware of how steep that uphill often felt. And then early in 2021, Sylvia and Eric, some friends who had moved out of the city and knew I’d been yearning to do the same, suggested I come up and stay with them for a spell. A month or two, maybe. I could bring my cat. We joked that it would be the first inaugural writers’ retreat—ironic for a writer who happened to not be writing, and wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to again.
Be safe out there, friends.