The Line

A line stretched out before me

A line running east to west

A line named grief and sadness

A line I don’t intend to cross

 

A line stretched out beside it

A line running parallel

A line of frustrated anger

A line whose beckoning, I quell

 

A line and then another

A line as far as eye can see

A line I mean to skirt around

A line traverser? No, not me

 

A line running east to west

A line unending either way

A line of infinite extension

A line unskirtable today


Today, one line I’m crossing

Today, when beckoned, I will come

Today, I’ll journey through completely

Today, feel pain and anger, some

 

Today, I crossed a line

Today, I plodded through

Today, I felt the anguish

Today, I’m weary and confused

 

Today, no longer feel afraid

Today, no longer bound to run

Today, I’m whole, embracing both

Today’s grief and joy within the son

 

Today, I live in victory

Today, I live as me

Today, I embrace everything

Then move on, another day to see

 

 

11/9/2014

Sibling Issues

So, all of my three children are blind. Are there sibling issues? Yes, but not the kind that families experiencing disabilities usually have.

Let me explain.

Number two and number three were reminiscing about each time someone’s fingers or feet were jammed in a car door. I added the time I jammed number one’s hand in the hatch door of a new vehicle. I have heard them ask each other to look at something (when they were quite young), expecting the other to see it as a sighted adult in their world would – without hands.

Our issues involved teaching them that, though they could request sighted assistance from their parents, they could not expect the same from their siblings. It may have been insensitive for a sighted person not to inform them that they were closing a car door, but it was insensitive of each of them not to warn each other of the same.

So much is learned by observation, and we are inclined to presume things will be learned automatically.

There are some who don’t get the opportunity to observe much to learn from (or what has been observed is unhealthy or inappropriate).

Teaching, though, doesn’t have to be a complex lesson. It may come in the form of conversation, a shared task, verbal guidance through an experience. Some need this into adulthood because they missed out on it while maturing, others may always need some form of guided instruction, even if just verbal or hands-on information. Not because they’re unable or unwilling to learn, but because the way the world, or me, or you, or we teach and model doesn’t fit with how the other is geared to learn.

Of course, as my children have grown to be young adults (with a much broader knowledge base than as little ones), it’s difficult to ‘switch off’ the teaching talk. Much to their chagrin and/or frustration. Sorry kids!

Your Story

Since reflecting on TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, ‘The Danger of a Single Story’

 

You are not a single story

You’re not one day, or year, or scene

You’re not an isolated statement

Nor one act, or choice, belief

 

You’re not defined by one relationship

Whether healthy, whole or torn

You are not your job entirely

Not your sport, school, song or storm

 

You’re not the family who bore you

Not those who raised, rejected or embraced

Neither those you’ve borne and chosen

Nor the one’s you wish would be the case

 

You’re not the nation you were born in

Nor the air space, nor the sea

Not the style of hair and body

Whatever they may be

 

You are, who you are

You will be, who you’ll be

You are every piece within your journey

Just as it is for me

 

22/8/2014

Guest Post – Child Number 3

*prepare for a random rant that probably goes all over the place and makes hardly any sense*

So in English we are currently studying a unit on protest songs and poems. The other day as we were analysing a song by Archie Roach about the stolen generation, our teacher was explaining the meaning of the word ‘prejudice’. She said it is when a person has misconceptions about another person because they are from another country, and that was all.

I understand that we didn’t have time to go into a lot of detail, and maybe she does think it can be for other things as well as a person’s nationality, but I personally thought that was a bit too narrow. The definition in the Oxford Dictionary says: “A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Unjust behaviour formed from such a basis”. If someone has a prejudice it could be because someone has a disability, or because they have a different religious belief to another person, or perhaps even because they were educated differently to somebody else or absolutely anything. She made it sound like a synonym for racism which I don’t believe is quite right. I think the other problem when someone has a prejudice is they don’t tend to realise they have one.

I guess this got to me a little because of past personal experiences where people have made assumptions and tried to help/teach in a way that was actually quite unhelpful or inappropriate. Please realise I’m not asking for sympathy and I understand I’ll get this kind of thing practically all my life, but if people presume they know what they’re doing all the time or aren’t happy to change their ways then how is that helping the future generation of adults (as in my age level and below) to be socially acceptable and treat everyone equally?

There. I’m done now! If you have any thoughts on the topic and feel like commenting please don’t hesitate as I’d be interested to hear what others have to say. Also note that I’m not trying to have ago at the teacher mentioned above.

Very mature response from one’s child. Very proud mother. ‘Nuff said!

 

Honesty

Lies:  more than mistakes

Control:  more than well-intentioned

Neglect:  more than forgetfulness

 

Ignorance:  more than uneducated

Prejudice:  more than difference

Abuse:  more than self-expression

 

Honesty:  more than truth

Integrity:  more than honour

Virtue:  more than principal