Today is Chewing the Fat's second anniversary. For two years I've written something pretty much every day. This is post number 743! I should be in a mood of celebration but I've had an extremely bad and extremely upsetting day. I'm going to write about it all. In gruesome detail, but I need a bit of distance from it all.
Instead, I just want to take the opportunity to say 'thanks' to all the regular readers, a special thanks to those who take time to comment. I can't tell you how important this little community has become to me. Chewing the Fat was begun as a means of documenting life as a newly disabled guy, as a way of putting on paper observations about what disability means - and what it doesn't mean. But it's become more than that to me, its become a way of connecting with others, a way of experiencing community.
While the Community Living movement tends to focus on the need to integrate and include those with disabilities in the larger community, I've always been of a mind to build and fortify the community of those with disabilities. I see the importance of integration and inclusion, of course I do. But I get frustrated at the denigration of the idea of a home community, of a place where disability is the norm. I get worried that in the rush away from 'segregated' activities, we end up with isolated people living isolated lives.
I want both. I want it all. I want to be able to find commonality with others who either have disabilities or who have disability in their lives. I want to be able to talk about what it is to face a world that thinks a ramp is a gift not a right. I want to be able to speak to parents who fight for a desk and a chair from schools who know best but who practice the worst. I want to have those moments of clarity that come from realizing a loss of aloneness. And I've found that here at Chewing the Fat.
So thanks for standing by CTF, for being part of this little community.
Happy Birthay to Us.