Not very often now, perhaps once every nine months, I have certain dreams where I do not have any idea that they are dreams…until I wake up.
Most of what I’ll call my ‘regular’ dreams are silly enough and about odd unimportant things that there’s a little sliver of my consciousness that says, while unable to actually wake, and get ‘out ‘ of the dream: “Hey, you know this is a dream right?”
These, on the other hand, are particularly vivid and realistic in setting and light and sound. They look like reality. I don’t know that I’m dreaming.
And he’s always in them.
In the latest one, I find that the late husband isn’t really dead. He’s been held somewhere all these years.
(my brain’s odd processing of the current discussions of Gitmo, no doubt)
He will be coming home and there is much preparation to do….
(and this is the piece of it that makes no sense; that should have jogged me that it *was* a dream.)
He has to go somewhere else in three weeks, and he won’t be coming back from there.
In the dream, it made me sad, but oddly foccused.
“Ok. I only have a little time. What shall we talk about? What will we do?
What is important to tell him about these past years? (Certainly not my post-widowhood, um, wild times…)
And I was keyed up with joy. Held like a tight string, ready to jump, because more and more calls were coming from him….crying from amazement, not from grief….
“I’m at the airport, honey.”
“I’ve picked up the car…” “I can’t wait to see you.”
And then, friends actually *saw* him, coming up the walk, laughed and described him…and the front door opened…
and I woke up.
And the crushing weight of what’s true, all compressed into that moment of wakening….I thought, “Lies! all lies and fakery…D@mnit!!!!”
Loved ones should only be taken from you *once!*
I had to cry for fifteen minutes.
Then I showered and went to work.
with regret, some older links have been deleted, (not a difference in philosphy just haven’t seen them post in quite some time ) but some new ones have been added….
Three I have been meaning to add for quite some while: Disaboom (where I still am unable to post…I never get the password change emails or the server won’t let me in, but it is a great networking place!) Patricia E Bauer and Disability Nation
And after a stray Googling found ’em Philosopher Crip…
Links are on the right…
about the piece remembering Harriet McBride Johnson, written by, of all people, Peter Singer…
Peter Singer, the academic who believes that parents, in some cases, ought to be able to decide to kill seriously disabled infants.
I’m not dehumanizing Singer…It’s obvious he eats drinks speaks and writes. So he is just another person. Not a saint, not a monster.
It’s his *ideas* not his person, that I take issue with
It’s these sorts of positions that make me glad I’m a throwback, a cavewoman in the modern world…
Opposing the acceptance of the idea that it’s really not always a bad thing to kill a disabled child…is important to do verbally and in writing and ASL and wordboarding….etc. as often as possible.
This idea is inimical to our very existence. Don’t hand me that business that since I’m now adult and sentient and obviously connecting to the world and enjoying some of my life, it shouldn’t matter to me that Singer seems to advocate killing infants before they achieve self awareness…
Has Singer ever met any disabled children? Has he seen them participate in athletics and the arts? Write? Sing? Do standup comedy? Excell in school? end up living on their own?
One of his arguments seems to have been that if a disabled child cannot romp on the beach the way others might, why should we condemn them to a life of wishing? Preempt that by his method.
*All* children are sometimes the odd one out, and gaze in misery at those that seem to manuever unscathed and perfect through childhood.
But, ever been to a high school reunion? Some of the Perfect Girls and Boys come to a sad and miserable adulthood.
Should we kill them at birth too, if some marker indicates they’ll end up miserable? Of. Course. Not.
There are horrid stories of institutionalization and abuse and neglect and even murder of disabled people.
None of them are a reason to figure killing disabled infants is ok.
That adult life, that Singer credited McBryde-Johnson with…
Can be the realized life of many many disabled-even severely disabled infants or children.
The potential for a rich life like that *outweighs* the potential challenges or even misery….
Preemptive strikes are not the answer. Letting us have a whole beginning, middle and end to our own journey….
Is the beginning of disability rights.
This issue has been written about quite frequently….
Some PWD’s have ignored or hidden their disabilities in order that they live their life most successfully and frequently among the able, and more importantly measuring success as the able do.
Mea Culpa until about four years ago…
Others either of their own volition, or due to constraints brought about by lack of opportunity and access….don’t.
FDR and Hellen Keller have been roundly criticized for contributing to one of the stereotypes, that the ‘good’ person with impairments doesn’t force the able to examine them or even question them, just connects on other issues and moves on….
Musicians with impairments have been criticized for not identifing themselves as a person with a disability.
I think, (she said, treading carefully) that every group of people has annoying overachievers in it.
(As a chronic underachiever, this peeves me off)
The so called ‘perfection’ of how people with impairments ‘pass’ in the able world, isn’t, for one thing. Unfortunately though, it does lead to unrealistic expectations for the rest of us.
And paradoxically, people with disabilities also run ito the “stay in your house,’ antics of Jerry Lewis, don’t get hired because some people don’t want to ‘look at’ us.
I think, that those who don’t wish to criticize the achievements of those with impairments who hide their impairment are allowed to leave it alone, because there is one thing we can understand….when the impairment is finally revealed, we know, better than the able, about all the extra time and effort it takes to do (some) of what the able do, while coping with an impairment. It’s something we may be able to sit the able down, and talk at them about until they ‘get it”
Criticism always has value and should be brought to bear (even severely), if the goal is showing why hiding the impairment hurts the rest of us who can’t.
If somebody able snarks at you about what they think you should be able to do, and uses those who hide their impairments as an example…talk about access and class and money… and the mere fact that bodily difference *means* bodily difference, that no one person with a given impairment should be expected to do the same tasks as another…it simply doesn’t work that way.
I don’t have an easy answer, except that I don’t want to throw out Keller and FDR as role models…I think that their drive and desire to succeed are good things to shoot for. It’s just that *what* they achieved should not be our albatross.
about disability, and more importantly, how oppression(s) do differ