June 28, 2007

Of Travel, Spirituality, and Invisible Disability

One job of an editor is to sift through available stories and make selections - "move one to the head of the line" so to speak.

Today, reading Naveed's blog, Rethinking Disability, it was clear to me that this thoughtful piece by Ayesha Malik Nasson reprinted from Religion and Sprituality is worthy of your attention. I recommend the whole piece but in keeping with the Rolling Rains themes of travel and disability I excerpt the following as she reflects on the boundary-crossing inherent in disability -- and the ambiguity of having a hidden disability:

I can only imagine how outrageous it appears when I’m wheeled to the head of the security line, and then I get up and walk through the metal detector. Or when I’m wheeled to and dropped off at the departure gate and then I wander around browsing in the nearest magazine shop until it is time to leave. Or if I get up to board when they make the announcement for those who need extra time. I wonder if some of the security guards suspect me of a terrorist plot, if other passengers think it is a ploy to avoid the endless lines, or if stewards doubt my need to get on the plane first, but what can I do besides try to limp for their benefit?

On the other hand, there are times when my disability is quite apparent. Being visibly disabled is a double-edged sword as it provides an obvious explanation while burdening one with society’s (and one’s own) mixed attitude toward disabilities. I often think that illness is the last frontier in topics that can be spoken of in a personal or professional context. Hale and hearty people feel uncomfortable bringing it up or are simply oblivious to health issues, and I fluctuate between wanting it to be “out there” and keeping it a private matter, not wanting to be solely defined by my illness.

Continue reading the whole article here: http://fidvi.wordpress.com/2007/06/19/approaching-disability/

Posted by rollingrains at June 28, 2007 05:36 AM