A few things for this cold and rainy Tuesday; I’m trying to wrap up my day quickly, so that I can hop in the shower and head out to a meditation that some friends are running, so please pardon any mess. It’s been busy here, and I have a lot that I want to share, but I’m going to try and limit this to a few key things.
LetterMo starts again in February; I’ll be sending out a piece of mail every day that the USPS is working! I’m told that handwritten letters to legislators are either incredibly effective or a complete waste of time, but I think that if I’m going to be writing almost daily, I might as well include them in the fun of it all. Still, that leaves me plenty of room for pen pals, so if anyone is interested in letters, tiny abstract paintings, postcards, all the weird ephemera I send people, awesome! Please drop me a line or, even better, leave your address in my Postable address book! Every time I do this, I seem to pick up one permanent pen pal; it’s a really fun experience.
I spent Saturday at my local sister Women’s March with a friend. I’ve heard a lot from my disabled friends about these events both before and afterwards; there were concerns about accessibility, and I agree, it was a problem. In the smaller rally I attended, which drew a later estimated crowd of approximately 10,000 people, there were three outdoor toilets, for example, one of which was hypothetically disability-friendly, although it still couldn’t accommodate any electric chair or scooter I’m aware of, and it wasn’t at all clear if people could use indoor facilities. Before any jackhole gets to it: yes, there were folks present who needed those bathrooms. I met a woman in a motorized chair while I was waiting in the queue, and while she did figure something out eventually, nobody should be that uncomfortable for that long while they’re engaging their civil right to assemble— especially when we’ve all made plans to do so, know what I’m saying here?
When you’re disabled, you get used to doing certain things that able-bodied people might think of as uncomfortable, distasteful, embarrassing, or even dehumanizing— things like talking to complete strangers about how you can’t use this toilet because of the kind of body that you have. That’s the life you are living, because that’s the world you live in, and that is not easy or fun. The world is full of able-bodied people who don’t always see the things that the disabled need, and I don’t expect able-bodied people to predict our needs, but here’s the thing: we are very frequently quite busy telling them before any problem presents itself.
Overall, though, it was a positive experience. Exhausting, emotional, uplifting, invigorating. Seeing that many people motivated to turn up and turn it out gave me hope. I hope at least a third of them keep showing up. And to those friends who wanted to participate but couldn’t show up in person because your bodies wouldn’t allow it and are beating themselves up over it now— agh. I’ve been hearing some really sad stuff from my friends who are in a similar spot, and seeing some crap online lately, too, from folks who don’t know better.
I can tell you that you’re no good for the fight if you spend your time kicking your own ass, though, which is something I’m learning the hard way; pick your battles. I’d rather have my friends feeling good enough to write and call and get all that good shit done, rather than marching just one time. I mean, in a perfect world, I wish you’d been there, too, and I have been the person sitting at home, too- that part sucks and I commiserate wholeheartedly, unquestioningly- but you’re 100% not the slacker jerk that I’ve been hearing you are in your notes, posts, and calls. At all. Also, big damn hugs. (And for real, un-follow that asshole on Facebook who says that’s who you are.)
I desperately need to sign off and get myself together for the evening. Before I go: think about that LetterMo thing, friends. It isn’t a huge commitment- a postcard, a note, a drawing, you name it! Tell me you aren’t sick and tired of knowing what will be in the mailbox every day. I love having an ongoing set of correspondences, even as sporadic as I am with it; knowing that it won’t always be the same set of bills, magazines, subscription boxes, and flyers makes the mail a bit like a birthday every week.