June 10, 2008

Co-Dependent Arising: Retrospective on Wheelchair-Accessible Adventure Cruising

"The glory of God is humankind fully alive." ~ St. Irenaeus

As I hurriedly prepared for this trip an expected theme formed in my mind around the word "transfers." I anticipated movement from wheelchair to plane, plane to ship, ship to kayak and through it all movement further from daily patterns. What remains with me are still life vignettes and moments outlined against the movement of time. The transfers I recall in retrospect are more substantial than the simply physical.

Awe is the healthy human response to the expansive beauty of wilderness such as Glacier Bay, Alaska. It was evident in my shipmates aboard Sea Wolf. Curiosity, joy, gratitude, resolve, and camaraderie further marked the voyage as a time outside the ordinary.

This trip was the co-creation of all who set up the conditions for it to unfold. The foresight of Sea Wolf owner Kimber Owen who adapted the ship for wheelchair access set up the equalizing environment. The selection of wildlife-viewing sites was expert. The skill of the crew and the humanity of all who shared the trip made it easier to feel fully alive.

Even with huge grizzlies and powerful mountain goats, fluking whales and racing Dahl's Porpoises I leave holding onto the image a pair of hands that look like mine -- thin, curled, weak -- helping me put on a borrowed pair of gloves. What in another place appears only to be weak is what revealed the invincible resiliency of interdependence. Weakness exposed to weakness.

Awe is a healthy human response to a human fully alive. Disability is a medium of revelation. Glory in paradox.

Posted by rollingrains at June 10, 2008 01:04 AM