>It Doesn’t Interest Me

>A blog I read most days is Malisa’s.  She is a very strong woman and a wonderful writer.  I feel like I learn a lot reading her words (although I’ve never really told her that or interacted with her too much).  I forget if I’ve shared her link before or not but definitely think that her site is worth a read and also that a couple of the specific people I know who read this would probably also enjoy reading it and get something from it.  She writes on caringbridge so I can’t link to specific entries but in her most recent one she shared the following poem which I wanted to pass on here.

It Doesn’t Interest Me


It doesn’t interest me what you do for living. I want to know what you ache for—and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.


It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.


It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, have been opened by life’s betrayals, or have become shriveled

and closed from fear of further pain.


I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.


I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you dance with wildness and let it fill you to

the tips of your fingers and toes, without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.


It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal—and not betray your own soul.


I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your life from its presence.


I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the moon: YES!


It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.


It doesn’t interest me who you are or how you came to be here. I want to know if you can stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.


It doesn’t interest me what or where or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside, when all else falls away.


I want to know if you can be alone with yourself—and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


—Oriahe Mountain Dreamer, An Indian Elder

I think that realistically I can’t say that I personally am good at a lot of the things this poem talks about.  I don’t have those sort of qualities or skills as a whole.  But it strikes me that what that poem is more about is about learning to see the positive and to focus on the now rather than the might have beens or the might bes.  About the big picture.

Those are things that I try to focus on and have done for a long time.  They are in no way easy things to do and sometimes when I think I’ve got there (or rather I’m getting there) I suddenly realise that actually I’m not.  But then I remember this line from Star Trek Voyager (it’s from the finale and it’s Harry Kim who says it)

When I think about everything we’ve been through together, maybe it’s not the destination that matters, maybe it’s the journey, and if that journey takes a little longer, so we can do something we all believe in, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be or any people I’d rather be with.

And I’ve basically just lost the plot of where I was going with this and what I was trying to say!

But…

The short version is that the poem made me think of that quote and that both of them together sum up a lot of what I believe in and my sort of goals for life.  I think that for those of us who live with disabilities and more so with acceptance of that this is what it is force you to learn lessons that are different. There is more to it then that but this entry has turned from the short one I thought it would be to a longer one and I’m tired so I will leave it for now and may return to the topic in future.

>Remembrance Day

>We got to IKEA on Sunday a bit before 11. We’d had a chance to get in there, go to the loo and start looking at the first room set up or two. I called my mum over to look at a unit I liked and we were trying to figure out if it would fit in the space.

Then they announced on the tannoy that it was 11 am and because it was Remembrance Sunday there was going to be a 2 minute silence.
We stopped and stood still in silence for those two minutes. So did most other people.
But we were right by the escalators up so people kept coming in and they didn’t know what was happening so they were talking. Some realised what was happening and stopped and stood in silence too.
Several others kept wandering around looking at stuff, either in silence or chattering away to each other as they did so. I overheard at least one couple going “Why’s everyone stopped?”
I find the fact that people couldn’t be bothered to stop for two minutes and remember to be disrespectful and very annoying.
I was on the train at 11 am yesterday morning. I had wondered if they would do a 2 minute silence on there but they didn’t. That doesn’t bother me so much as the people who saw that the staff (sorry, co workers they call them) in IKEA and most of the customers were observing the two minutes silence and disrupted it with their talking and their wandering.
Personally I haven’t been wearing a Poppy, I just haven’t felt the need to. I like the idea of the Poppy campaign I’ve just personally not had one this year. In previous years (or at least some previous years) I have. I know at least one person who doesn’t believe in the Poppy campaign and thinks you shouldn’t wear a Poppy. I think that’s on a semi-religious grounds and based on the idea that the poppy (or at least the red one) glorifies the idea of war. We haven’t discussed it.
I like the red poppies (symbolising remembrance), but I also like the idea of a white one (for peace) too. I’d probably be contrary and wear both.
Part of me was thinking earlier that if not for the Second World War I might not be here. My Grandad on my dad’s side was a farmer and so didn’t serve in the war – farming being so important to food production and thus a reserved occupation. My Gran was a land girl and was assigned to his farm, it’s how they met I believe. (the employer employee relationship seems to be a thing in my family as my Dad was also my mum’s boss at work at one point which is how they met too).

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

>If by Rudyard Kipling

>I was just reading something online and it had a few lines from this poem in it. It reminded me how much I love it and I thought I would post it here.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

>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.

 

>Sailor

>Originally written 1st July, 2008

Sailor

The jingle jangle of the boats waiting, alone
Hoping some day their sailor will come.
Secret meaning
Hidden from the world
At large.

So obvious!
So true

So freeing
So happy

And yet so hidden
hard to find unless you look
beyond what it at first seems

Boring they say
They don’t know

Not many do.
But oh how those that do
Look and laugh
free and fast.

Some lucky few have friends
Who push
Who nag
Who share
Who care.

The naysayers give in
And give it a go
“just this once”
they say

Three years later
She looks,
She laughs
She is free
flying fast
water pounds
Sails flap and sounds.

So happy
So grateful
Such a part of me.

Sounds of the water and the sight of the sea
The jingle jangle of the boats no longer waiting
The sailor has come.

>Wants vs Needs

>Originally written 2nd July 2008

Wants vs Needs

Sweet. Salty.
Sugar.  Honey.
Laughing.
Crying.
It’s not
Funny.

Spicy. Plain.
Feeling that
It’s all
The same.

Time for
you
Time for
them
Time for
him
Time for
her

No time
for me
No time
to be
Not feeling
free

A change
as good
as a rest?

do I need a change
do I need a rest
not quite sure
which would be best

Time for me
Time to be
Feel free

Different is good
Different is fun
Different is different

Needs and wants
different
yet the same.

I need a change
I want a change
I need things
to stop
being the same
always
and I want
things
to stop
always
being
the same.

A change
may be
as good as
“a rest”

Well.
not for me.
I’m greedy
I want both.

>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….

>Don’t tell me…

>

Don’t tell me that you understand,
Don’t tell me that you know.
Don’t tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.

Don’t stand in pious judgment
Of the bonds I must untie.
Don’t tell me how to suffer,
Don’t tell me how to cry.

Don’t tell me this is just a test,
That I am only blessed,
That I am chosen for this task
Apart from all the rest.

My life is filled with selfishness,
My pain is all I see,
But I need you, I need your love,
Unconditionally.

Don’t come at me with answers
That can only come from me.
Don’t tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free.

Accept me in my ups and downs,
I need someone to share.
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, “My Friend, I care”.

Author Unknown

I was thinking about this poem a lot today.  It’s message is something I’ve wanted to get across to many people over the last couple of months.  Not just with Stevie’s loss but with the whole “knowing how you feel” thing about my disability.  And the whole your life would be better if thing too.  Yes, I’ve had some tough times lately and having CP isn’t always easy.  But that’s life.  It sucks but I love it (paraphrased quote from the first episode of FRIENDS)

I don’t need pity or sympathy or anything at all really.  If you are my friend and you know I’m struggling I only need two little words from you.  Those words are the only thing that can help me.  There are two versions of those two words and either will do.  You could always go with both but that might just be overkill.

The words?

I care and I’m here