Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day Off

"You have a new email from Manuela," so says the little message thing that pops up on the bottom of my screen. "Oh, my," I think, realizing that the boss wouldn't be writing on boxing day if it wasn't important. I rush to the email and it says "Went to your blog this morning and nothing was there, are you OK?" Well, as it happened just before I got the email I was staring at a blank screen trying to think what to write and wondering if it would be OK to take the day off from blogging. What the heck, it's the holidays.

But this blog thing is an odd one isn't it? It's a way to connect with other lives. When I was overseas I had a woman, a regular blog reader, come up and give me a hug in thanks for all the stuff she'd read on the blog, her "daily ritual" and at that same event I met a guy with a disability who had just made a movie about his life and he titled the movie based on something said by the self advocates at Essex and that I had recorded here on my blog.

In a couple of months I have a date to meet a fellow blogger, Elizabeth, who writes the blog 'Screw Bronze' which is a favourite of mine. She has blistering intelligence and a fierce wit. Her description of how, for her as a lesbian, wheelchair user who's house is full of skulls, Christianity, or her father's explanation of Christ, shaped her life is wonderfully faithfull and incredibly irreverent at the same time - a style of writing that she has mastered. So we've chatted back and forth between our blogs and are now arranging to meet. Strangers not long ago, sharing a bevvy in the not too distant future. Coolio. (Though I can't imagine what Elizabeth is going to make of someone who can say, without blushing, Coolio.)

Out of the blue a month or two ago I got a comment from neice Shannon and then bam a letter from her brother. I haven't talked to these kids for years. Not that we were fighting, we just lived in very different worlds. Now I'm feeling a little more attached to the world of family and was amazed to find, in Shannon's writing the same incredible charm that I'd noticed she had as a child. Her blog about animal's kneeling on Christmas eve inspired me to remember the Christmas plays I used to write for St. Paul's church. Mark too writes an wonderful letter and is obviously fond of words. He mentioned my "Walking on Robson" blog in a letter and I grinned at the idea of sharing that moment with him and not even knowing.

On my birthday someone from England wrote and said that 'Chewing the Fat' and my writing had helped them develop an acceptance of their use of a wheelchair, or the transition from cane to chair. That they had discovered an increased mobility and a kind of defiance for the reaction of onlookers. They couldn't have given me a bigger birthday present. That's exactly why I started Chewing the Fat. I wanted to bring a stinging slap to those who 'oh poor you in your wheelchair.' Affecting someone like that is very, very humbling.

Then my friend Joan, who is still my friend even if we only talk on birthdays and major holidays, tells me that she drops into Chewing the Fat just to stay connected. She's busy in her world, I'm busy in mine. But we share memories of bizarre times we spent together - like the night that she, a straight woman, won the Arnold Scwartzenegger (can't spell it and can't be bothered to find out how) look-a-like contest in a gay bar. We've known each other since we met in university. She's quite a lot older than me, 14 months I think, and I like her presence in my life as a, kind of, elder.

It's an odd kind of connection, somewhat real, somewhat not, here in the world of blogging. A kind of intimacy happens because we human beings have a drive for intimacy and connection. We need to feel that we matter, we need to let others know they matter. I'm going to get slaughtered for this, but, many people with intellectual disabilities have a knack for intimacy, a skill at seeing beyond the obvious, "You're not fat, you're Dave," was once said to me by a chubbly little girl with Down Syndrome.

So, besides all this, besides Manuela's concern for my health (by the by Manuela, I can't send you an email on your other email address because I only have the Vita one) I'm going to take the day off today. I'll blog again tomorrow.

6 comments:

Betsy said...

Dave, you've gotten us hooked - we all need our daily dose of Dave - you're like the Tim's commercials where the people are far away - you're an important connection to our homes and hearts.

I like the idea about intimacy - that ability to laugh with wild abandon, to speak so honestly, to live without a "filter" is a quality that might do all of us some good sometimes.

Have a great day off from you're blog - we'll miss you ;)

Anonymous said...

Next time you decide to take the day off could you just post something that says your taking the day off - worrier that I am I envisioned all sorts of terrible things - even watched A news in case something awful happened. I was waiting for a reasonable time to call even though your up before the birds. Panic started to set in but years of my mother telling me not to call before 8 am left me in turmoil, so I loaded the dishwasher for the 7th time since dinner last night and decided to check one more time before calling. Relief - followed by anger. Day Off! I want to scream - Don't do it again! Even if you deserve the day more than anyone I know. I think I need a valium! Love Ya, Manuela

Kei said...

Happy Boxing Day Dave. Enjoy your day off ;)

Yours is one of the first daily stops I make when I log onto the internet. You've made me laugh, cry, reminisce, and think.

Have a great day.

Lola said...

Hey Dave,

I wondered if you would have a day off over Christmas, I even considered having a day off from reading. But in the quiet after the busy excitement of the day full of fun, family and food, I craved a bit of quiet before bed. I couldn't help but take a peek as your blogs often leave me quietly reflecting and thinking. It was funny to find your post yesterday about just that!
I hope you and Joe had a lovely day. Also thanks for the hug and for sharing the film with us, when you were over in England. Your visit was a highlight of the year. There is often so much we would love to share with you and it meant a lot to have the chance to do so in person.

God Bless.

Lot's of love

Laura xx

adam brown said...

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Shan said...

Getting caught up on the reading and found myself mentioned - thank you Dave, what a nice compliment.

I loved your post on the pageant you wrote.