John Friedlich

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To Fly: Living with Disability

Sometimes when we have had so much of our lives and our abilities stolen from us and have lived in a decimated world for so long, it's hard to take any additional risk, to test our wings. Having to face such a magnitude of loss, facing the possibility of additional loss or disappointment can appear unbearable. This is a barrier we need to get through though if we are going to cope with the realities of our lives and have a life despite our disability.

To allow our hearts and minds to fly means taking some emotional risks. But it can be an instrument, a pair of wings, on which we can find new freedoms and new joys. We need to let ourselves dream, hope, love, feel, imagine, experience, do -- to open our worlds up no matter how restricted they are, to the food of life. No matter how small those morsels of food may be -- it's a bit like opening the door just a crack. It gives us a hint of what's out there beyond and the more we do it the more we find some quality of life. And with time it can gain momentum -- we find ways to fly higher and higher -- to find immense pleasure from the most meager of things -- the joy of a hobby, music, the song of a bird, a dream of another time or place, a hope for the future, glimpses of life beyond our microcosms, and in turn sometimes new found abilities.

© Friedlich, 1997

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