Gratitude

The lessons of this week have been many.

Of thinking first.

Of continuing to think on all this and forgetting nothing.

I am full of gratitude for what I have learned and will continue to learn.

The greatest lesson is love.

Many people reached out to me with both love and forgiveness and for that I am deeply grateful.

The lessons of this week will sink in over the coming months and I hope that I will never be the same person again.

Poetry is where I started.

To poetry, I return.

From…

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

BY T. S. ELIOT

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels

And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument

Of insidious intent

To lead you to an overwhelming question …

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go

Talking of Michelangelo…

And in short, I was afraid.

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Published in: on August 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Gratitude is the key. You have continued to inspire me.

  2. And what of his line “That is not what I meant at all, not at all” (rough paraphrase) Anyone who knows anything about you knows that you are an open generous person fighting the good fight for the arts, freedom and full self expression by everyone everywhere.

  3. I am skilled writer and poet. I am also disabled. While my words and skill speak for themselves, when people actually see me I am diminished and discounted in their eyes. I have to fight for everything I get, from a ride from the city paratransit service to enough food to meet basic needs for the month. Though I am a highly versatile writer who has won awards for her poetry and has edited significant publications in public health I cannot get a regular job because of the prejudice that exist against the obviously disabled.

    Basic life stuff from making my bed to cooking dinner takes twice as long and much more effort than it does for a person with a functioning body. And while I have all the same worries as other writers about meeting deadlines and acceptance of my work, I also have a myriad of issues others do not deal with such as will typing too much in a day cause my arthritis to progress fast to the impending surgery I am facing and internet access in rehab. I write in spite of these extra burdens because I have a voice that should be as heard as that of any other writer.

    Furthermore, unlike other minorities, and we are a minority, the nature of what separates us also keeps us apart. Writing is something I do with my mind and my fingers, and do not need to have a fully functioning body. I am always dismayed when other writers, who I presume to be more sensitive and aware of subtleties than non-writers, are dismissive of me and my ability to blend words and create new ways of thinking and seeing.

    The writing community should welcome the experience of those of us who are differently able and find a way for us to be fully included in all phases of writing life from teaching to publishing. Yet this is not the case. Very few poetry sites and writing competitions wave entry fees for submissions for creative writing for those with almost no income and to be honest, most of the time I need that $25 to pay for food or medical care. Therefore I cannot get the exposure other writers get. Conferences and other gatherings are frequently not fully accessible and increasingly we are left out and put into the ghetto of a new genre, disabled writers.

    I am a writer who happens to be disabled and much of my writing is from my own experience and addresses things people do not want to comprehend, it’s just too scary. But writing is about exposing truth and sharing ideas and communicating and communication is not about the body.

    I urge the writing community to be more open to the ways in which people like me are excluded, be it from teaching, community participation, or publishing.

    • I agree, the disabled (and as most know, not All disabilities are visible) could be ticketed as students are. Unfortunately this might involve having to carry a card indicated being Disabled. But if that is acceptable, this would be a good and specific cause to get behind. I’m in!

      • Louise we are given cards to prove disability for things like transportation, that does not address discrimination in publishing, teaching and chances to excel at and get our work out there. I want and need to work, not be given a card to identify myself.

  4. Thank you for your comments. I am thinking hard of ways that we can keep the doors open to everyone. Thank you.


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