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Blog - July 2014

Arts and my imagination

I read an article in “The Atlantic” recently entitled “Disability Is Not Just a Metaphor”. The author, Christopher Shinn, comments on “able-bodied actors playing disabled characters”.

Shinn states, “We are not witnessing the actual pain and struggle of real disabled human beings; it is all make believe.”

I understand that actors who self identify as persons with disabilities find few opportunities. Shinn’s comments that the obvious absence of people with real disabilities lessens the potential power of works about disability concerns me. All art is make believe. Prose, poetry, theatre, painting, sculpture, they all force us to suspend our individual “real” and step into our imaginations.

Words

I was out for lunch with a high school friend last week. I finished high school many, many years ago and she and I have maintained a friendship through marriages, children, career changes, divorce and rebuilds, and aging parents. As always, we shared stories, we laughed and we bragged about our children.

We had just finished lunch and were enjoying coffee when a man approached our table and said hello to my friend. It turns out he attended our high school as well. I have not seen him for years but my friend has kept up with him. She hugged him and asked if he remembered me.

There it was ....... that awkward moment of silence. “Oh, yes,” he said. “I remember you. How are you doing? I heard you had gone bl........”

“Yes,” I answered. “I am blind.

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