Up at 6:30AM this morning and this word greeted me like a huge post-it! Who put it there --I don’t know. One thing I do know is that when you get into this writing addiction, everything becomes subject for expression. Like some dam’s gate blown wide open and all that stored water gushing out with a vengeance lapping up everything that gets in its way. That’s me.. he-he-he.
So here I am churning up the word ‘wheelchair’ in my brain.
The house is still quiet this early or late depending on one’s body clock. I hear no one stirring in the kitchen yet or in the other bedrooms. Well, can’t blame them in this kind of gray weather -- often it’s translated into an extended curl-up under warm sheets in bed. So I’m sitting on my bed with back leaning to the wall, legs folded with knees reaching up my chest, and a blue-covered notebook resting on my knees while my right hand holds a freshly sharpened pencil. It didn’t really need sharpening—but I love sharp- not blunt - pencils!
But before even settling down to writing, I tear myself out of that position to head for the kitchen – turn on the coffee maker, sidle up to the dining table for some bread to toast and walk up to the window to check out the skies. Ah yes, we’ll be having these rains all day no doubt. With resignation, I march back to my bed.
With my legs-- the freedom of legs! Free to go wherever I choose—unrestricted-- which a person strapped to his wheelchair can’t. He can’t enjoy the thrill of chasing after a bus for a ride. Nor driving a car in monstrous traffic. Nor running up to his mother for a warm kiss and hug. Nor feel his tired feet after scouring through the stores in the mall looking for the perfect birthday gift.
But no—my thoughts aren’t going there. It’s taking me in another direction. It’s taking me to a wheelchair of a different kind-- more compelling, pitiful and pathetic, harbinger of misery and doom.
It’s not just one, it’s several. Take a look at this….
Are these familiar? There’s more around us, maybe given different names--but real. It breaks up homes, families and relationships, causes wars and divisions, it harms – kills – destroys, is restricting and demeaning, and so much more.
I’m not proposing a cure to those ills. Somebody else out there is better at the task. I’m just writing about a different kind of wheelchair. One that is more debilitating than the physical incapacity of the handicapped. But they don’t know this, do they? Or they may be so entrenched in the comfort zones created by it. So the world continues to have disputes, little compassion or none at all, loss of freedoms, and disintegrating peace.
Know it or not, we all have our 'wheelchairs' ---your best friend's, your boss's, yours. Mine is on that list. I have many fears. But I’m going to blast them off to kingdom come one by one. I’m going to ditch this wheelchairs of my mind and heart---and have my legs back!
posted on Thursday, September 15, 2005 10:21 AM