Monday at 3:30 AM

I had great plans for today. I had a bit of an enforced break last week and although I took my laptop, some new billing software and at least a half baked desire to do work I found myself needing to rest again and playing computer games and watch YouTube videos of programs I had seen before and could more or less recite. It was a good rest and then last night I just could not sleep once wide awake and lay awake, with my wheelchair unable to be unplugged until the morning. For example, I was going to write 1000 words plus of my novel for NaNoWriMo–National Novel Writing Month, which are known about since I was in uni but it never actually been disciplined enough to finish. I’ve only got 200 words written so far and a busy month ahead in  other ways. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

So I am clearly exhausted. My eyes are smarting. My back hurts and my concentration and speech are equally sloppy. Yet I still strangely feel inspired. Lazy sloppy inspired.

It was interesting and peaceful though in watching the light change in a somewhat less familiar environment this morning accompanied by the occasional hum from the fridge and the noises of nocturnal animals and neighbours next door. There was a calming rhythm watching the world wake once I’ve decided that flight was not to be mine.

And as I finally rose at 5:15 in the morning, it was only then that the birds tweeted their first greetings. It felt poetic and beautiful.

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growing my leaves

It’s been a difficult week again. A few things that will I know only seem significant to me. At the beginning of the week I had lots of writing ideas. Now I don’t. But I cane say the Willows leaves are growing again.

By Friday I had “crashed”out and was shattered so after coffee with a friend who had a dream about me, I went home determined to finish some work so long overdue. Only to discover that my other server was down and will be back today. I wasn’t feeling well enough to go out. So I googled. Within minutes I found myself watching of all things youtube videos of the American TV shows, the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. Back to back. Sad? Yes possibly. Distraction? Yes. More importantly although I am well aware it is contrived, it made me smile and hope. I almost believe now that manners are not dead, at least not yet.

I started with the London Calling season. Despite the english angle, I couldn’t attach to the women or the catyness. After having difficulty finding other seasons to watch on YouTube I found season 14 Jake Pavelka “on the Wings of Love”, and it predecessor with Gillian. A nice guy with faith and manners and some good women. Google brings up some gossip and the sad news that they are over. But as I said in the note I left on his website; it was nice to see someone who believes in manners of my generation without prudishness.

It wasn’t that I needed to renew my faith in only men per se, but humanity. It did.

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handbag free to a good home

Okay. I was watching a television programme today about de-cluttering. It was Oprah and the subject was “what can you live without?” It focused on technology. Could two families, fairly typical ones live without their technology and their 60 hour weeks for a whole week and commit to do family activities for the week without distraction?

They showed a woman who had collected so many clothes, shoes and other paraphernalia and the compensation of the losing her husband in an accident over 10 years ago. She had de-cluttered and had boxes and boxes of clothes and shoes and whatever else removed from her house.

I have been talking about reinventing myself and simplifying my life for a long time now, and like many others have made several attempts with varying results. However, something in that program today spurred me on to look around and realise that I had way too much stuff. It prompted an energy shift in me. That energy shift resulted in my drafting the following e-mail: Continue reading

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Just words — a writing exercise

Lying straight. Holding what is left of shallow breathing and waiting. There are key noises to be listening for. A rhythm to the chaos. Markers for the unmeasurable. And an end. A final bang. An end. A stillness after the storm.

It will all start again. Tomorrow probably or if the young girl behaves she hopes, perhaps the day after.

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la vie passionnée

In one line, she challenged me.
With 6 words she made me stop and reconsider.

I have been challenged today. Challenged away from advocacy to participation. True participation. The embracing of life.. Beyond all the rhetoric I have been sprouting about living for the now.

Continue reading

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The hard rock bottom of my drive

I am writing this post on the iPhone app for WordPress. It is 1 am on Monday morning and I have had a bad tech week!

I am sitting here watching a fairly clever graphical representation of my hard drive bring scanned and (hopefully repaired) by Disk Genius 2. A set of cats hair like they use to locate the target in a gun I gather are seeking out bad blocks. The graphic spins around on a focused area and zooms in every thousand blocks or so to reveal a computer like screen up close and personal with 1 s and 0s scurrying through and after 5 or so seconds that feel like forever a reassuring little tick appears. Phew! Then off we go again.

Let’s hope this works. Otherwise I’m going to have to get better at the iPhone keyboard

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Soccer balls and Portuguese chicken

PB and I were talking about a current arts project that one of the access committees I serve on is involved in

Five themed mosaics are being installed down a thoroughfare. The opportunity was presented to incorporate a disability themed mosaic among them, as one of the five. Nice, hey? Lots of scope to use it as an educational, barrier-lowering exercise and such. Quite an exciting thing for the committee to get it’s teeth into.

The artist had been commissioned and a workshop set up. Two of the committee’s membership; each quite different personalities went along. It seems that by the end of the exercise the mosaics, each designed to celebrate the contributions of a particular community also tied into a unified theme. Makes sense, right? Images to tie the whole street-scape together. It seems that these images were soccer balls and Portuguese chickens!

Soccer balls in honour of the local soccer team; and the chicken in homage to the Portuguese community of the area, which is apparently small but powerful.

The proposed mosaic celebrating disability sounds too complex to me  to achieve that objective. Among other images on the tile;, a youth using a wheelchair, a stylised figure representing undesclosed disability,  a blind woman knitting a scarf with a key slogan of the disability community that stretches accross the mosaic.

My question is; what makes a chicken look like a Portuguese chicken? In this age of equality shouldn’t a chicken be a chicken first?

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Iphone apologetics

I get teased (mercially) about my geekism. This is not fair as the intentions are generally noble ones of simplicity, ecology and organisation.

However there is some truth to the ribbing as I was pondering today; Continue reading

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Op Ed

My work requires a lot of advocacy. Usually systemic in nature. Arguing the case for the holistic inclusion of the needs of people with disabilities into the way places do business. Trying to make it easy for the decision makers to look good and if your very lucky understand why such policies will work.

It requires a strange balancing act. A tightrope between passion, pragmatism, diplomacy and complete dis-interest; often about the same topics in a short space of time. this is an exhausting juggle but an extremely neccessary one, to maintain sanity and credibility not to mention effectiveness.

Also  as a member of a sub-group within the minority, supposedly representing the interests of the whole minority I tend to practise a fair degree of reverse discrimination to ensure I’m not favouring people who use wheelchairs over those with other disabilities. So my own personal experience of living is not something I usually give myself time to consider between 8 am and 6 pm.

However while explaining the issue of why a contraversial ramp is neccessary:

P1 “Why is this ramp important?”

Me “Because we cant build something that excludes”

P1 “How do you feel as a person with a disability when stuff is built that you can’t use?”

I get discreetly choked up and say nothing.

P1 ” ok we are going to do an op-ed and you’re the subject”

go figure.

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