After work today we're heading down to New Haven for a workshop with Planned Parenthood. I've worked for them, on and off, for several years in several states. I've always been impressed at their willingness and desire to work with people who have disabilities. I'm going to give my Abuse Prevention workshop there and I travel with the hope that this will all make a difference.
We are going to leave tonight, even though the workshop isn't until Thursday. As we're driving, by putting some distance down today we'll shorten that long drive tomorrow. I was planning the trip and looking at possible spots to stop, when we do this we usually stop at Williamsburg or Rochester. We've done this so often that we know the name of a pizza restaurant in one city and a chinese restaurant in the other. But the hotel search pulled up a hotel in Niagara Falls on the American side of the border. Right near the falls.
Normally we like getting farther. But Niagara Falls. Overlooking the falls. But it's not as far as we like to get. But ... the falls, outside our window, at night. It took a second or two but I pushed the buttons to reserve the room, after double checking that they had wheelchair accessible places for us to stay. And that was it. A little treat on the way.
I spent yesterday in a room full of people talking about how to prevent the abuse of people with disabilities. Heard people with disabilities bring up horrific examples of abuse and talk about how this disturbs them and makes them feel unsafe. I'm going to New Haven to talk about abuse. I've done all this a thousand times before, but as I drove away from the committee meeting a sense of real sadness surrounded me. When I asked Joe what I was talking about in New Haven and he told me it was about abuse and the prevention of abuse, the sadness deepened. I love my work, I love the challenge, but sometimes, only sometimes, a bit of hopelessness creeps in. Sometimes I ask myself the soul destroying question, how can one person do acts of cruelty to another? I shiver in the car, and it's not cold.
Then booking rooms for the trip I saw that we could stay by the falls. We could, for a few hours, overlook something beautiful.
I think I need that. So tonight, the fall of water will erase from my mind the fall of man.