Thursday, August 07, 2014

Double Hmm

Someone sent me a picture the other day. It was taken a long while back. None of us can actually place it in time. I spent a lot of time looking at the picture, and not only because I was one of the two people in it nor only because the other person has only recently passed away. I looked at it for those reasons, but mostly I looked at it because I was standing.

Just standing.

Standing is one of the things I can't really do any more. I can walk, a bit, and in fact, if I'm going to be upright, I need to be moving. I can't just stand. I fall over. I have adapted to this, it's fairly easy to plan ... stand up and then immediately start walking. The worst times happen when I'm on my way too or from the bathroom at work and someone stops me to ask a question. I look at them with panic in my eyes, I know if I stand more than a few seconds I lose any sense of balance. At first I didn't want to be rude and interrupt their questions but I figured, quickly, that that's better than traumatizing them by falling to the floor in front of them.

But here I am, in this picture, standing.


Without notice.

I can tell by my posture that I'm not standing there thinking, "Wow, I'm standing. How cool is that to be a person who stands?" No, I'm just standing. It was clearly, for me, simply a normal thing to do.

Then I remembered things like standing to shave.

Standing to give a lecture.

Standing beside Joe on a subway car.

Apparently, my memory tells me, I used to stand a lot. I don't think of the past in that way at all. I don't think of the past as 'the land of the standing Dave.' I just think of the past as the past an my memories don't have a lot to do with the physicality of my movements but rather the nature of my relationships and the changing foci of my passions. Hmm.


I had no sense of loss. I realize looking at the picture that if I had been sitting in a wheelchair, I would still have been there, still in relationship to the people in the picture, still having the same conversation, still deeply involved in my surroundings.


And people make such a big freaking deal about standing. Like it's morally and spiritually superior to sitting. We even call good people 'upstanding'. Sheeeit.

Double hmm.

I used to stand.

I don't any more.

Big deal.


Glee said...

Have a read of this Dave - non-flyers! lol


Anonymous said...

Interesting reflection - and one that takes a lot of forms in people who are "walkies." Sometimes I look at a picture and reflect that my parents were still living when it was taken. Sometimes I remember that I wore a hearing aid then - and not now. Sometimes I use "landmarks" like - before/after (name of child) was born. It's just a passing thought - not a dwelling place, and I appreciate that you gave the thought words.

Anonymous said...

This has changed my understanding (oops a pun in there- underSTANDing) of the word stand.
I thought about phrases/idioms that associate power with standing- stand up for your rights, stand firm, outstanding, upstanding, make a stand and so on.
Then I looked up the meaning of stand, and it doesn’t necessarily mean on legs and feet. I like the definition ‘to remain stable, upright, intact’
And then there are meanings of stand that don’t involve legs...
The urn stands on the pedestal
The building stands at the corner of the park.
Now stand to me means imposing presence, and I can see it working with adverbs to reclaim it’s meaning aside from legs:
She stood firm on the front line of the demo in her wheelchair.
He wheeled into the room and then stood still for a moment.
I want to reclaim the word ’stand’!

Anonymous said...

You don't have to be standing up to be upstanding - or even outstanding!!!