Dust If You Must

So as you can probably tell from my last few blog entries I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.

My sister commented on one of those entries that it made her think of a poem that’s doing the rounds on Facebook. I’d seen the one she meant bit not paid too much attention to it. Sometimes my newsfeed feels like a never ending stream of photos, poems, quotes and sentiments all designed to inspire or to make you think or feel good and they begin to blend into one. Which probably defeats the object but there you have it.

Anyway after reading that comment I did a little googling and tracked down a copy. I think it’s worth sharing here. It fits well with what I’ve been thinking and writing about and is probably worth remembering which I won’t do if it stays just a thing I saw on Facebook.

Wikipedia tells me it’s called Dust If You Must and is by Rose Milligan. It was originally published in 1998 in The Lady.

Dust if you must.
But wouldn’t it be better,
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed?
Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must.
But there is not much time
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb!
Music to hear, and books to read,
Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must.
But the world’s out there
With the sun in your eyes,
the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come round again.

Dust if you must.
But bear in mind,
Old age will come and it’s not kind.
And when you go, and go you must,
You, yourself, will make more dust.

>The Month After Christmas

>

Sadly in my case most of this was true way before Christmas but because I needed a laugh…

The Month After Christmas

(Author Unknown)

Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house  
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse. 
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste 
At the holiday parties, had gone to my waist. 
When I got on the scales there arose such a number! 
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber). 
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared; 
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared, 
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese 
And the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.” 
As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt 
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt— 
I said to myself, as I only can 
“You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!”

So–away with the last of the sour cream dip, 
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip 
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished 
“Till all the additional ounces have vanished. 
I won’t have a cookie–not even a lick. 
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick. 
I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie, 
I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry. 
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore— 
But isn’t that what January is for? 
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot. 
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

>And now for something completely different…

>Just thought that this was worth sharing… Will be back later, probably.

Accept that some days you’re the pigeon,
and some days you’re the statue.

Always keep your words soft and sweet,
just in case you have to eat them.

Always read stuff that will make you look
good if you die in the middle of it.

Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that
can be recalled by their maker.

Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing
worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

If you can’t be kind, at least have the
decency to be vague.

If you lend someone £20, and never see
that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life
is simply to serve as a warning to others.

Never buy a car you can’t push.

Never put both feet in your mouth at the
same time, because then you don’t
have a leg to stand on.

Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.
Just get up and dance.

The early worm gets eaten by the bird,
so sleep late.

When every thing’s coming your way,
you’re in the wrong lane.

Birthdays are good for you; the more
you have, the longer you live.

Ever notice that the people who are late
are often much jollier than the people
who have to wait for them?

If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t
more people happy?

You may be only one person in the world,
but you may also be the world to one person.

Some mistakes are too much fun
to only make once.

Don’t cry because it’s over;
smile because it happened.

We could learn a lot from crayons:
some are sharp, some are pretty, some
are dull, some have weird names, and
all are different colors but they all
have to learn to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can
enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Happiness comes through doors you
didn’t even know you left open.

Have an awesome day, and know that
someone has thought about you today….

>My New Set of Wheels with an added giggle factor

>Presenting my Jazzy who needs a name and I have a mad urge to call Jeff. That would be rather sad and pathetic of me however so suggestions are welcome.

Side view

Side view of my Jazzy which was taken in my parents front garden on Sunday. I’m sat in it but my head was partially cut off so I cropped it all out.

So yes, I am loving my Jazzy now and I managed to go to work yesterday in it without hitting or breaking anything! Bonus!

This afternoon I was sitting in it in the lounge with it tilted back as far as it goes alternatively reading and staring at the ceiling considering the idea of a nap. And when I went to put it away to charge and switch back to my K I felt like something was dragging but I couldn’t see anything.

Well, it turns out I’m not the only one who ♥ my new powerchair! There is, in fact, a lot of Jazzy love in this little flat of mine. Because look what I just saw when I came back through to come online:

[Description of photos: Front view of my powerchair with the footplate flipped up and an Eeyore caught up on one of the front kerbclimber wheels like they were cuddling. The second is basically the same view but a close up on Eeyore and Jazzy sharing the love.]

Well, I love the Jazzy (maybe I should name it Carlton?) and Eeyore loves the jazzy and life is good.

This poem is one of my favourites and totally sums up how I feel about my wheelchairs, particularly having a new one. Unfortunately, Eeyore hasn’t seen fit to tell me if it sums up his feelings as well so we have to assume it doesn’t.

My New Set of Wheels

There you stand, and I see you stare
Thinking, poor dear, she’s stuck in that chair.
But I’m not sad, I’m very happy because
I haven’t forgotten the way it was.

You’d say, “How about a trip to the zoo?
A walk in the park will be good for you.”
I was thinking tomorrow, I’ll be a wreck,
From my aching feet, to the pain in my neck.

You’d want to go shopping, all over town.
I was thinking but there’s no place to sit down.
For you it’s a snap, just to go to the store.
But for me the ordeal was more of a chore.

Now I can go wherever I please
I can shop in the mall with newfound ease,
Do all the things that have to be done,
And even go out and have some fun.

So, do you want to know how it really feels,
To be sitting here between these wheels?
Can you remember back that far,
When you got your very first car?

Well, that’s how these wheels feel to me.
They don’t hold me down, they set me free.
So, don’t think all those pitiful things:
These aren’t wheels, I think they’re my wings.

By Darlene Uggen
from Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul
Copyright 1999 by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

>Challenged

>On my 101 in 1001 list (see link under pages in the sidebar), one of the things I have down to do is finish my planned favourite writings project – to print out and scrapbook copies of some poems and other writings that I love and/or find inspirational. And I’ve just been playing with photoshop and printing a couple out.

As a part of that I went onto one of my favourite websites which hosts a huge collection of disability related poetry and stories to get copies of one or two I couldn’t find and there were several I wanted to share here tonight but I decided this one as it totally sums up my views.

Challenged

Some say I am disabled,
But you know that isn’t true.
I simply have a challenge
A little different from you.

My slight inconvenience, has taught me
Things they could not know.
Each obstacle is a victory,
Enabling me to grow.

I’m not really any different,
I cry, I laugh, I snore.
I don’t want to be treated
As if I’m not a person anymore.

Out of good intentions,
People are afraid to let me try.
But sometimes I have to fall,
And sometimes I need to cry.

God gives me strength and dignity,
And the courage to be all I can be.
For He doesn’t see me as disabled,
He just sees me as me.

Leslie W Ortega

>Mary’s Poem

>My friend Mary wrote a poem for/about me. I think it’s absolutely wonderful and love it. I was especially touched as she is one of the best writers I know and she managed to sum up so well who I am. It’s title is my name and surname which I don’t share here.
With her permission I am sharing it here with you.

Eternally hopeful,
Meeting life with courage,
Making no excuses.
Artistic,
Creative,
Ready for anything new.
Energetic fish, alive and free,
Equality is all she asks.
Spirit of adventure and daring is hers.

Thank you Mary for such a lovely and from the heart gift.

>Hope

>Wonderfully written with a powerful message… I wish I had written this… I wish I could write like this…

Hope

If you can look at the sunset and smile, then you still have hope.

If you can find beauty in the colors of a small flower, then you still have hope.

If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, then you still have hope.

If the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.

If you can see the good in other people, then you still have hope.

If the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.

If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, then you still have hope

If the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.

If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, then you still have hope.

If you give people the benefit of a doubt, then you still have hope.

If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, then you still have hope.

If receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.

If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and frustration, then you still have hope.

If you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope.

If you look forward to a time or place of quiet and reflection, then you still have hope.

If you still buy the ornaments, put up the Christmas tree or cook the turkey, then you still have hope.

If you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.

If you can look to the past and smile, then you still have hope.

If, when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile,

you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase…

“yeah….BUT..” then you still have hope.

Hope is such a marvelous thing. It bends, it twists,

it sometimeshides, but rarely does it break. It sustains us when nothing else can.

It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we’d rather give in.

Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage.

Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it.

Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused of the direction.

Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and

nurtured, and something that will refresh us in return. And it can

be found in each of us, and it can bring light into the darkest of places.

Never lose hope.

Author Unknown

>The Man In The Glass

>

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
and see what the man has to say.

For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife
Who judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the one staring back in the glass.

Some people may think you a straight – shootin chum,
And call you a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass say’s you’re only a bum,
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s a fellow to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test,
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of life,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears,
If you cheated the man in the glass.

~Author Unknown

I wish I could say I wrote this and even more then that I wish I knew who did write this so I could read more of their work. There is a lot about this poem that I could say about why I like it and such. But I think this is something that if you’re going to understand the meaning I find in it you already can just from reading it.

But read the poem, and think about it. The message it contains was something I already knew. But it was a reminder to me and one that came at a time when I needed it.

>A powerful short story

>I just read an incredibly powerful short story which was based on the writer’s real life experiences. The story is called “By Choice” and can be found over on LJ here

I love disability related fiction and true life based fiction is an even better way of handling the subject. I write a lot of disability related essays but it is years since I wrote fiction with disabled characters. I’m inspired again though and I think I will be trying my hand at it again soon.

But for now I must go and investigate the possibilities for that thing which we call dinner.