Have you ever notice that words can reach out and give your soul an embrace?
Well they can.
Let me tell you how.
We live fairly near the University of Toronto so our building, every September, becomes home to 'the new fall line' of students. This year we got a particularly nice batch in. The partying is at a minimum and most of the young'uns seemed to have learned a lot of social graces from their parents. A couple days ago I was backing into the elevator, keenly aware that, besides Joe, there was another person on it. I try not to rush because then I muck up the entry into the lift. Once back in I noticed a young man, from the new September line, on the elevator. I thank him for being patient with the few seconds it took for me to back up, I didn't add that there are many in the building who fume when I get on - those few seconds must cost them millions. He said, "No problem." I said, "What a nice young man you are." He said, "Not really, it can be a hard world out there so it's good to do what you can to make it nicer."
Joe and I remarked on our way down the hallway that if there was a way we could write his parents and say "WELL DONE!!" We'd love to be able to do so.
Have you ever noticed that a look can be like a conspiratorial secret handshake?
Well it can.
Let me tell you how.
I was getting off the subway and making may way over to the ramp that leads up to the exit door. I noticed a woman with a disability, leaning heavily on her cane, coming down the ramp. I slowed to give her time. I didn't want my presence to pressure her to move more quickly. I wasn't in a rush. There were two, very tall, very thin, very elegant, women standing talking immediately in front of the ramp. For me to get to the ramp I'd have to make a wide arc and slip by them and then make an impossibly sharp turn to go up. The woman glanced over to see the woman coming down the ramp, glanced over to see me heading towards it, and then simply carried on their conversation. Wide spaces were available for them to move to, but moving would mean something to them, I know because not moving meant a lot to me. Anyways, the woman with the cane got down and then had to awkwardly get around the two nearly blocking her exit. She looked at them and then glanced at me and gave a little wink. That wink said it all. I started to chuckle because there was an impish wickedness in her look that I understood exactly. There was a lecture on the arrogance and privilege of the norm right there in that look. It was like we bumped fists, in a complicated pattern known only to the society of the disabled and different. It was cool.
Hugs and Handshakes ... without touch, without words.
Sometimes that's just so incredibly cool.