Flying over I-40 N. With Lav #1.

airplane-black-and-white

I just didn’t know. Or perhaps I didn’t care to know. Or maybe it’s just not possible to know. How could you possibly know?

And then there’s a moment or two, when you cross that line, from passively aware or passively engaged to actually feeling. And perhaps you only feel when the suffering is so high, yours or others, that only just then do you begin to give-a-sh*t.

I’m seated in an exit row on an Airbus A3215, 1 seat back and across from the airplane lavatory: ~40” long x 34” wide x 75″ inches tall. Inches.

A Mother walks down the aisle. She grabs the back of one seat, and then the next, and the next, to keep her balance. The plane tips left and right in soft turbulence. She makes her way down the aisle.

There are two hands gripping the tops of her shoulders. She’s slight, maybe 5’2”, and stooped under the weight of the hands. The hands are owned by a strapping 14-year old who towers over her. Mildly handicapped?

She enters the restroom first, her Son doesn’t let go. She lifts one hand off her shoulder and turns to him. She slides her arms under his arms and begins to tug him in. Won’t fit. Not possible. Two full size humans in 40 x 34 x 75.

There’s silence, five minutes or so, which is interrupted by a toilet flush. She exits, pulling him out with her arms under his. She strains to extract him from the box, her face red, filled with rage.

She extracts him and pauses to catch her breath. Her Son claws after her shoulders to grab on as the plane tips. They head back up the aisle. She settles him in.

She comes hurrying back down the aisle.  And into the Lav.

It’s quiet again, now for 5-7 minutes. Then a toilet flush.

She exits. Her right hand dries her eyes, now red and swollen. She catches my glance, offers a forced smile, turns, and heads back to her seat.

You just don’t know. No chance. Not close.


Notes:

Evolution. In Reverse.

disney-world

“…If you have ever been to a Disney theme park, and have seen a family with a disabled child escorted to the front of a long line to a ride, has your reaction been:

  1. To offer a silent prayer of thanks for your own family’s good fortune to be healthy and able-bodied;
  2. To think good thoughts about Disney for having the compassion to take care of the park’s disabled guests this way; or:
  3. To regard this as a great opportunity for you to pull a con, an easy way to turn the situation to your own family’s advantage?

Apparently answer No. 3 is more common than you might hope, because this week the Walt Disney Co. announced a significant change to procedures at Walt Disney theme parks. No longer will families with disabled children or parents be allowed to go to the front of long lines. One of the reasons for the change, a Disney spokeswoman said, was to curtail “abuse of this system” by healthy families pretending that some of its members are ill or disabled. In May, the New York Post reported that wealthy parents were hiring disabled “tour guides” to blend in with their families and enable them to go to the front of lines. As coldly cynical as this sounded, as snickeringly selfish, there was more: Websites serving families with disabled children featured message boards with infuriating tales of healthy people renting wheelchairs to avoid waiting in Disney theme-park lines…”

If you haven’t hurled yet and want to read more, find full article @ wsj.com: It’s a Small-Minded World, Disney Learns


Image Credit

Sunday Morning: A Winged Victory

Love this…hypnotized by it…but not sure that I fully grasped the story line.  Van Gogh and his illnesses have been on my mind from posts earlier in the week. (9/21-a and 9/21-b).  All interpretations welcome.

Good Sunday morning.


A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Requiem For The Static King Part One (Official Video) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo.


Related Posts:

Sunday Morning: Everything is Incredible

Agustin is from Siguatepeque, Honduras.  He was born “lame with his right leg shorter than his left.”  He was later struck with polio leaving him severely disabled from the legs down.  He dreamed of being a pilot but because of his disability, he couldn’t fly.  He turned his energy to building his own helicopter largely from parts found at the trash dumps.  He started building in 1958.  He is still pursuing his dream today more than one-half a century later with his helicopter still under construction.

His Minister:  “I don’t know what he’s paying for his helicopter in the ultimate sense.  I think he’s paid a lot for that helicopter.  I think he’s paid an awful lot.  You might say what has he gotten out of it?  I don’t know.  Maybe its kept him alive. Maybe its been able to conquer loneliness.  Maybe its been able to conquer poverty.”

Agustin later in the story explains: “The problem is that everything is incredible and people just don’t accept it.”

This video is beautiful. Sad.  Touching.  And inspiring.

And, yes, Agustin, we are blessed. And everything is incredible.  And often times we take it for granted.

Good Sunday morning.


Everything is Incredible from Tyler Bastian on Vimeo.


Related Posts:

I don’t want to see him lying on that street…

“Over the past 33 years, Dick Hoyt has pushed, pulled and carried his disabled son, Rick, through more than 1,000 road races and triathlons, including 28 Boston Marathons. But as time bears down on them, how much longer can they keep it up?”

I told him, that’s it, Dick, enough. You’ve done enough. Cripes, time to pack it in!  That’s one of his buddies, Pat Forrest.

His body’s breaking down. The last couple of Boston Marathons, I didn’t think he would finish. He can’t go through every barrier. He’s walking the fine line between gutsy and foolish. That’s the director of the Boston Marathon, Dave McGillivray.

I don’t think either of them will make the choice in the end. An outside force will make it. That’s the Hoyts’ masseuse, Roseanne Longo.

Half the family thinks he’s crazy. Dick’s sister Arlene.

I don’t go to races anymore. I don’t want to be there the day it all ends. I don’t want to see him lying on that street. Another sister, Barbara.”

Watch the short video clip below.  Better yet, skip the video and read the entire Sports Illustrated article The Wheels of Life.  It’s long but very worthy. If this doesn’t get you going this morning, I’m not sure what will.



Story Credit: Thank you Ed O for sharing.

Related articles:

Related Posts:

%d bloggers like this: