The Handicap’s Lament, Part III

March 27th, 2017 → 6:01 am

“O opportunity, thy guilt is great!” – Lucrece

Having a handicap involves quite a number of paradoxes.  You are happy for the health you have, though not exactly grateful for the infirmities you bear.  You are prepared to keep your troubles to yourself and not bother other people, but then when you truly need help no one is around.  You are motivated to stay strong and not dissolve into emotion, but then, the inner heartache festers without light and attention.  You are quite honest when you say you are proud of your handicap and that it made you the strong, empathic person that you are, but then late at night when no one is looking, you sometimes wonder what your life would have been like without the experience.

I suppose life in general is full of paradoxes, but those for the handicapped stand out, I believe, in a more pronounced way.  The contradictions are sharper, but then, so is your existence.  Whether this is good or bad is yet another paradox.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

The Handicap’s Lament, Part II

March 19th, 2017 → 5:47 am

    “Would you have me
    False to my nature?  Rather say I play
    The [wo]man I am.” – Coriolanus

Over my life I’ve had people question my injuries.  Friends who tell me to just get going!  Family members who tell me things could be worse.  Co-workers who clearly think I’m faking things.  It’s frustrating.  And disappointing.  But it does make one wonder, are there levels of handicapped’ness?  Where some people are more justified than others?  At base this is ridiculous, of course.  It’s like asking if there are levels of racism.  Or levels of being raped.  People who make such judgments clearly don’t get it at all.  But what is worse is that I find myself playing to such ableism at times.  Accentuating my limp so I don’t get accused of using a disabled placard falsely.  Why do I even care?  I need to have the strength to play the woman I am.  And idiots can just take it or leave it.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

The Handicap’s Lament

March 9th, 2017 → 5:35 am

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” – Hamlet

My six year old son loves it when I take an afternoon off to join him for lunch at school.  I generally bring Jimmy John’s sandwiches, blue Gatorade, and Kit Kat candy bars for dessert, and every time I go I get the biggest hug from him afterwards.  Usually he asks me that very night when I can come again.  Recently, because of an injury, I hadn’t joined him at the school for nearly four months.  So I asked him last week, would you like me to visit you at school for lunch soon?  His immediate response:  “Will you bring the crutches too?”

The disabled person in me was crushed.  The mother in me understood.  The human rights activist in me wanted to protest and explain.  I paused for a minute before simply asking my son if he didn’t want me to go.  “No,” he said, “I want you to come.”

So, I did.  I hobbled into his school, carrying our contraband take-out lunch in a napkin-lined backpack, and acted like nothing was amiss.  In the end, my son did too.  I even got my enormous hug after we ate and before he ran outside for recess.  I don’t know if my son was embarrassed by me, but I’m pretty sure he has the strength of character not to care too much.  What I know for certain:  he loves me, and I love him more than he will ever know.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Under the Weather

January 12th, 2017 → 6:24 am

    “Restoration hang
    Thy medicine on my lips.” – King Lear

I’m feeling a bit under the weather right now.  Here’s hoping things get better soon!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Looking Young

January 8th, 2017 → 8:15 am

“How much more elder art thou than thy looks!” – The Merchant of Venice

I’m at a work conference right now, and in the elevator last night on my way to the ceremony where I was sworn in as president of the august and venerable Transportation and Public Utilities Group (TPUG), a young man turned to me and asked, “Are you headed to a job interview?”  It took all I had not to laugh out loud.  I know I’m small and I look young, but that young?  Lovin’ it!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Lack of Time

October 19th, 2016 → 5:53 am

“Cormorant devouring time.” – Love’s Labor’s Lost

(Note: The cormorant is a ravenous sea bird that eats fish in large numbers.)

All of a sudden I’m crazy busy and can’t find enough time to get everything done.  I hate when it gets like this.  It’s exhausting!

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life

Zombie Days

September 30th, 2016 → 5:58 am

“I am gone, though I am here.” – Much Ado About Nothing

It’s that time of the semester when my students are barely there, I’m barely there, everyone’s walking around half-sick, fully tired, and wishing they were in bed.  Wouldn’t that be nice right now?  More sleep…..zzzzz….

Filed under: Blog & Other & Self/My Life


September 11th, 2016 → 5:14 am

    “I have more flesh than another man
    and therefore more frailty.” – Henry IV, Part I

Continuing with the Hollow Crown series, I watched Henry IV, Part I last night.  This quote made me wonder, if being large means you are more frail (or, as Falstaff meant it, more fallible), does being small mean you are more resilient (or, more honest)?  I have read scientific studies that claim that small people live longer – one potential explanation of which is that there are less cells to go haywire, less of a chance something will turn cancerous.  I rather doubt that being small makes you more resilient or more honest, frankly, but it is nice to hear some praise for smallness (even if it is from Falstaff), which is so rare in our current culture with its worshipfulness of all things big and tall.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

Learning to Swim

August 8th, 2016 → 7:03 am

    “Like Arion on the dolphin’s back.
    I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves.” – Twelfth Night

As summer nears its end, we’re trying to get in as much pool time as we can.  Yesterday, my son abandoned his Spiderman swim vest, and of his own volition swam and jumped in the pool unaided.  It was lovely.  A mother’s dream (and nightmare), watching her son grow up before her eyes.

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life


July 12th, 2016 → 8:29 am

“I have been feasting with mine enemy.” – Romeo and Juliet

That’s how I feel these days, every time I get on social media.  Friends (and relatives!) I thought supported me and my inter-racial family, have been posting bigoted, racist comments that just shock me.  And then I face the conundrum, do I say something?  Do I not?  If I do choose to confront them, how can I do it so that they’ll listen?  IS there a way to do it so that they’ll listen and not just get defensive?  That, sadly, I have still not figured out.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Self/My Life