Yesterday's post about the woman making a comment about feeling sorry for people in wheelchairs during her 'person on the street' interview. If you remember I wrote that she was just generally talking about weather, two people in motorized wheelchairs motored by and she made a quick comment about 'feeling sorry for them.'
My blog was intended to be just about that moment. The moment she saw them and switched to the 'feeling sorry' statement. Even though at that moment, and that moment alone, those people in those chairs were easily navigating the sidewalk.
I wanted the post to be about that.
Several emails later, and in the comment section itself, people were concerned that I was under representing, in that post, the real difficulties of winter for people with disabilities. For those in manual chairs. For those facing curb cuts that haven't been plowed. For those who have to push others over slippery surfaces. Everyone, well more accurately - most, people were very nice.
One of the difficulties in writing a disability blog is that there are always so many ways to approach a story and there are so many differences within the disability community. The fact that I have a big chair with big tires which make it easier (not easy) to navigate snowy sidewalks and plow through snow banks built up at curb cuts doesn't mean that others have the same ease. I know this because I have plowed the way for many people in smaller power chairs.
But, I was writing about a moment. Just a moment. In that moment those two people were not having difficulty. In that moment the speaker simply saw disability, saw wheelchairs and went naturally to pity and feeling sorry for. That's all I wanted to talk about.
In order to write a blog that people will read, I try to stay focused on a single event and not go into a larger context. I want my blog to be readable - quick read, point made - go about your day. This is why I didn't go into winter and the difficulties that come with it. It wasn't about winter, which I've written about before, it was about the turn, the notice, the pity.
Some also feel that I'm angry all the time and these things ruin my day and they worry about my mental health. I assure you, I wrote the blog, then went about my day, having, yesterday, a pretty good day. I'm not filled with anger,I can be angered in a moment, but that's it. In this situation I wasn't so much angered as 'WTFed' ... if that isn't a feeling on the feeling chart it should be. Anyways, worry not, I'm OK and I don't see something like that and scream at the screen 'YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING!' Because, they haven't.
Anyways, I wrote everyone back who sent emails, thanking them for their feedback, and said I'd write something here. I apologize if the manner in which I wrote the post didn't make it clear what I was doing - but just so you know that's what I was attempting and a better writer would have captured that moment better. However, you're stuck with me. Thanks for you concern, and your letters, and your comments!!!