>Activist Poetry Style

>This is the third poem I’ve posted this evening.  They’ve all been online at Creatively Emma but as that’s something I’ve abandoned and is going soon I’m moving them here.

Originally written 3rd February 2008 about the incidents referred to in my post “Save yo’ drama for yo’ mama”

Activist Poetry Style

 it’s not my problem

it’s not my responsibility

it’s not my job

or so you tell me

well, guess what?

dealing with your attitude

your disphobia

your ableism

educating you

banging my head against a brick wall

trying desperately to help one of my people

to show that we matter

we care

we are part of society

and

that we are people

the same as you

shouldn’t be MY problem

shouldn’t be MY responsibility

shouldn’t be MY job

but people like you

make it like that

i hate that

but i refuse to let my people suffer

or to suffer in silence

when i can fight

fight

fight

and so

it is MY responsibility

it is MY job

and

it is MY problem.

Until such time

as i no longer hear those words

and

i’m not waiting

20 minutes

to be helped

off the train

and my people don’t

spend an hour

lying on the floor

because no one will help

them up

and

i’m sorry

my wheelchair

causes a

problem

for

you

but

i don’t

really care

disability rights

it’s not your problem

your job

or your responsibility

it is mine

but

it shouldn’t be

it should

belong

to all of us.

want me

to

shut up?

listen

to

me

help

me

learn

from

me

and

MY

people

equality

disability

rights

and

awareness

everyone’s

problem.

 

>Classes!

>I’m really pleased.  I’m signed up for Creative Writing again and also for Contemporary Knitting.  

Both at the Arts Centre.  And both on a Thursday.  This bodes well for keeping me busy and filling my time but I can’t help thinking I would prefer it if they were on different days so more of my week would be filled.  There is a several hour gap between the two however which does make it easier.

I feeling inspired to do some writing again now… I’ve had an idea based on the prompt “the stranger” for ages (it was a prompt the tutor gave ages ago) and I think I will actually write it now.  Well, tomorrow after the bureau and the hairdressers and everything else.

And to finish some knitting in case they suggest we bring something in one week (kind of a knitters show and tell?).

We do have to bring needles and some wool to the knitting class.  Which means I will have to buy so wool.  Because I have loads but nothing suitable for this.  Although I also don’t know what would be suitable.

Both of those things have really improved my mood.  I’m going to be busy again.  It’s going to be good and I think I’ll soon be feeling better.  I really don’t do well with three or so weeks with little to do.

>Because it made me smile…

>God and the angel Gabriel were at the water cooler one day. After chit-chatting about spreadsheets, schedules and last night’s episode of ER, God said: ‘I just created a 24-hour period of alternating light and darkness.’ Gabriel replied, ‘Wow – what are you going to do now?’ God retorted, ‘I think I’ll call it a day.’

>Relaxing, Recuperating and Odd Bits

>I’ve had some viral buggy thing going on pretty much since last Tuesday.  Not helped by ill and panicking a bit-ness on Tuesday and I’m still ill and I have a new ish carer I’m not sure of stressing on Friday.

But I seem to be pretty much better today (although lets not say that too loudly).  And I had a carer I’ve known for years but not seen in a long time today.  She’s only ever been a cover carer for me.  Which was nice because I know her and I’m totally comfortable with her meaning there I knew there should be no drama.  And there wasn’t, something I’d been very worried about happening last Friday as I was ill.  

My carer to do list is cleared and I was able to ask her about an issue I needed clarifying too.  So that’s something which was worrying me resolved.  I really feel the need to write more about carers in general, having carers, the process of needing and use care etc but that will be a post Christmas job.  Probably even a January one.

Other than that I’ve been taking it easy, reading stuff online, knitting and watching stuff I downloaded from the ‘net.  My sister came over for a bit too and we got our eyebrows waxed.  I’m covered in fluff from knitting.

And now I’m soon to be headed for bed, using this week for hibernating and recuperating.  I’ve needed a break for a long time.  

My only real plans for tomorrow – get all the washing done, finish reading my book and do lots of knitting.  I’ll watch DVD’s or something whilst knitting.  Unless Top Gear is on Dave.  That’s classic knitting watching and I’ve not done that in ages.  I must go check the tv listings before bed.

>It’s the small things

>I was reminded earlier today how much of a difference who does something can make.

That’s definitely very true when it comes to carers and the like but what  actually made me think of it was the contractors from my housing who do all the repairs.

About six weeks ago they sent someone out to unblock the drain for my shower.  it was taking forever to drain and as it’s a wheel in shower that wasn’t great (although I don’t wheel in I have a shower seat and leave my chair a bit away from it, walking a few steps to get to it).  

The drain cover was screwed into place and I couldn’t do it.  Which is a bit annoying because I could see no reason why it needed to be screwed in, it’s completely flush with the floor etc etc.  And if it wasn’t screwed in I could reach down and pull it out myself.  But balancing to unscrew it would never happen.  So about six weeks ago they sent a guy to clear it and I asked if he could leave the screws out so I would be able to do it myself.

No, nothing doing.  It wouldn’t be safe.

Serious problems with my shower again today – ended up with standing water all over the bathroom and into the hall – and a phone call to my house led to a promise of someone being with me “by the end of the afternoon” to sort it (this was 11 ish).  

And a knock on the door an hour later.

My shower works properly again now.  And without being asked the guy said he’d leave the screws out to make it easier for me to clear it myself in future as a short term measure.  Long term they are probably going to replace the drain cover because the guy thinks they fitted the wrong sort which is why it keeps blocking.

Proactive and in more ways than one.  I like that.

I know it probably doesn’t make sense to a lot of people but that is going to make a huge difference to me.  Because it’s one more thing that I could do that (for now at least) the small niggles which make it impossible have been removed from.

And it’s one more thing I don’t have to ask my dad or my carers or my housing to do for me.

>Got more Rabbit than Sainsburys…

>

Was just surfing old old old blog entries to find my end of year meme that I always do.  And I was reminded of this song:

Chaz n Dave – Rabbit

rabbit x 20

you got a beautiful chin,
you got beautiful skin,
you got a beautiful face,
you got taste,
you got beautiful eyes,
you got beautiful thighs,
you got a lot whout a doubt,
but I think bout blowin you out,

coz you wont stop talkin,
why dont you give it a rest?,
you got more rabbit than sainsburys,
it’s time you got it off your chest,
now you is just the kinda girl to break my heart in two,
I knew right off when I first clapped my eyes on you,
but how was I to know you’d bend my earholes too?,
with your incessant talking,
your becoming a pest,

rabbit x 20

now your a wonderful girl,
you got a wonderful smell,
you got wonderful arms,
you got charm,
you got wonderful hair,
we make a wonderful pair,
now I dont mind avin a chat,
but you have to keep givin it that,

no, you wont stop talkin,
why dont you give it a rest?,
you got more rabbit than sainsburys,
its time you got it off your chest,

now you is just the kinda girl to break my heart in two,
i knew right off when I first clapped my eyes on you,
but how was I to know you’d bend my earholes too,
with your incessant talkin,
your becoming a pest,

rabbit x 8
yup yup rabbit yup yup yup rabbit rabbit bunny jabber yup rabbit bunny yup yup yup rabbit bunny jabber yup yup yup rabbit bunny jabber yup yup bunny jabber rabbit

My sister and I used to love this song about three years ago – and it still makes me laugh and smile now.  I heard that they might be coming here for “an audience with….” next year and I don’t want to go really.  But I would like to see this song done live because I’d imagine it’s hilarious in person.

>Couldn’t Resist

>I wasn’t going to update today.  But then I went for a drink with some of the creative writing group.  And one of them told us about The Red Hot Chili Pipers.  And I couldn’t resist posting this.  It’s really not the best video when it comes to the visual side of it but the music is amazing – We Will Rock You done on Bagpipes.

>Sometimes you gotta sacrifice the things you like

>For the last four years I’ve been involved in a swimming group for disabled people on a friday afternoon.  It’s mostly been great fun and I’ve got some good friends from it.  It also allowed me the opportunity to reconnect with some old friends I’d lost touch with – the session is public (although specifically for PWD and carers as necessary) and they belong to others groups which also go.

I love to swim and when I first started going I was living in my old flat way out of town and struggling to get places and do things.  In short, I was very depressed (I lived there July 2004 – Dec 2005 and joined the group at the end of November 2004).  So it was great for me.  It got me out of the house consisitently because the weeks when my depression was bad and i didn’t feel like going it was usually more work to pick up the phone and say I wanted to give it a miss that day than it was to throw a swimsuit and towel in my bag and go.

But lately I’ve not been enjoying it.  A lot more people go now and it’s much more crowded making it much harder for those of us who want to go in the pool and properly swim to actually swim.  In some cases I’ve felt it unsafe.   And I’ve been coming out of my depression which made some of the niggles harder to deal with – because I have the energy to be annoyed by them now and to want to do something about them.  There are other related issues but I won’t go into them.

As much as I enjoy swimming and enjoy most of the people the two together just wasn’t working out for me any more.   I was just getting more and more frustrated and I wasn’t able to do what for me the group was about as I wanted too.

So last week after many months of soul searching I made a decision and I said to the charity who run the group.  “thanks for everything, I really appreciate it.  But I’m not enjoying it and I think it better I stop coming and let someone else have the opportunity.”

I’m gonna miss everyone a lot (well, almost).  And I didn’t expect to be as sad about it as I am.  I got a little choked up talking to my volunteer driver and I cried a little after talking to the coordinator.   Tears of saddened relief.  I know this is the right decision for me but it doesn’t make it easy to say goodbye and walk away.  I didn’t go to the group as a whole and say goodbye, I’ve spoken to my particularly friends and told them. and I know the others will find out that way.  I couldn’t face going and doing that.  The cowards way out perhaps but it was what I could cope with.

I don’t want to give a bad impression of the people involved as I’ve said I have good friends from it.  It was there when I needed it and it was fantastic – just what I needed.  But it wasn’t giving me what I needed any more – I’ve grown and moved on and my needs and wants have changed.  it was time to leave.

The group may be gone from my life but I hope the good friends from it will remain.  And I’ll still swim – Mum and I will start going again after Christmas.  As possibly will a good friend and I.

I’ve always been a great one for song lyrics and quotes and use them for emotional buoyancy, getting through the tough times.  As I was writing e-mails and talking to friends and coordinators about giving up the swimming group all I could think was “sometimes you’ve gotta sacrifice the things you like.” and about the song it comes from which I’ve posted below.  Because I do love to swim.  It just wasn’t really possible for me to swim like I wanted to as a part of that group any more.  And the frustrations that brought on were really not good for me.

Born to Try – Delta Goodrem

 


Doing everything that I believe in
Going by the rules that I’ve been taught
More understanding of what’s around me
And protected from the walls of love

All that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try
I’ve learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

No point in talking of what should have been
And regretting the things that went on
Life’s full of mistakes, destinies and fate
Remove the clouds, look at the bigger picture

And all that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try
I’ve learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

All that you see is me
And all I truly believe
All that you see is me
And all I truly believe

That I was born to try

I’ve learned to love
Be understanding
And believe in life
But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

But you’ve got to make choices
Be wrong or right
Sometimes you’ve got to sacrifice the things you like

But I was born to try

>”It’s always nice to find out from a complete stranger that you’ve had a drastic lifestyle change”

>I love to joke and mess around.  It’s really fun.  But the trouble with that is it can back fire on you.  With me having different carers at the moment I’ve tamped down on the crip jokes and such around them for the time being for fear of that happening.

The majority of a group of people I know seem to think that a good friend and I are gay.  The friend in question is married and they know that but there are still rumours about it.  They’ve thought it for a long time but whether they know that we know they think it I don’t know.  (If that confusing sentence makes sense).  We joke a lot.  We joke about being disabled and about other stuff.  And we joke about the fact they think we are gay (in fact I think it was probably a joke (about something else) that made them think that back in the day oh about two years ago).

We went out to eat last night.  And she told me she had to dress nice to “take you [me] on a hot a date.”

 Then we were talking about what I am going to tell someone about why I’m not going to do something.  She suggested tell that person it was because I’d been offered sex as an alternative.  I replied “yeah I’ll tell them I’m gonna be having a lesbian love tryst with you instead.” (which I actually might tell them because they so totally wouldn’t know how to react and it would be my last chance to mess with them).

We did talk about sensible stuff too, like where her husband was and my flat and just generally stuff.  And we insulted each other lots like usual.  It was fun and I enjoyed it.

There was a couple with a little girl at the next (occupied) table.  They kept looking at us weird but I figured it was two crips in chairs by themselves type thing and didn’t really pay any attention.

I went off to the loo and when I came back she was laughing – and the other table was empty.

Turns out the little girl had tried to walk past our table and they’d grabbed her and gone “don’t go near them, they’re gay.”

I don’t really know what to make of that – I think it’s pretty funny as does my friend and my mum laughed when I told her (as well as wondering what people think of her and one of her friends).  But I’m also very aware that if it wasn’t a joke and we really were gay that probably would have been very distressing.

Anyway we finished our meal and headed home via the cinema to find out what was on if they have more than one wheelchair space in each screen and if they are together (they do/they are. but one of the women working in there so did not understand what we were saying).  Then I took a detour to walk her to her car (because I always treat my dates right) and headed home myself.

*

I sent an e-mail to another friend last night and told her about a load of stuff including this incident.  As she put it in the reply –

“It’s always nice to find out from a complete stranger that you’ve had a drastic lifestyle change”