Category Archives: absurd

Which way to go?

I am at the doctor’s office using the handicap accessible washroom. I’m seated on the toilet with my right hand holding the grab bar and I’m stuck. I have no idea how I’m going to get up. I consider calling out for help and wonder if people in the waiting room will be able to hear me. This has happened before; I regularly get stuck in accessible washrooms.

There is a knock at the door. A voice asks, “Rita, how are you doing in there?”  “I’m stuck,” I reply. The voice responds,”Let me know if you need any help.”  I say nothing; I’m used to doing things by myself. I’m too tired to ask for the help that I need and too tired to explain what I need.  So I set my resolve to try again. I manage to lift myself up, but my feet can’t bear my weight and I drop back down. Alone and facing my wheelchair, I want to cry.

A voice whispers, ‘you can’t choose your problems,  you can only choose the solution.‘ Surprised by the clarity of the voice in my head, I repeat it with confidence. I remind myself that I’m at the doctor’s office and it’s time to get up. I resolve to use what I learned at physiotherapy. I know which muscles to engage and how to concentrate and breathe into  movement. I raise myself off the seat. First try, I get a little bit higher. Second try, I feel steadier. On the third try, I’m on my feet. I swivel the feet slowly and carefully. I switch hand positions, from grab bar to wheelchair and dump myself down. Finally, I’m sitting on my wheelchair. I resolve to do my exercises regularly; if only to get myself off my derrière with ease. Next time…

The image above is one of my most favourite paintings, “A Peaceful Waterfall” by Toronto artist Joanna Strong. See more of her work at http://joannastrong.com/

A kiss

Image

It happened under a clear blue sky on a summer’s day. She was walking home on a busy avenue, shaded by a canopy trees. When she got home, she called out, “Mommy, I was kissed by a bee!”  I smiled to myself and sitting down at the kitchen table, I asked “What happened?” She explained, “I was just walking along and I saw it, a bumblebee flying straight for me.”

My daughter was walking along the road, her arms swinging, as she enjoyed the summer’s day. When a fat, striped and fuzzy, low-flying bumblebee flew straight for her and bounced off her lips, then backed up and flew away around the corner. Later she told me, “it felt like a fuzzy, soft pebble hitting me on the lips”.

She smiled with delight. “It kissed me!” She exclaimed, “I was kissed by a bumblebee.” She giggled and smiled broadly. And I reflected her smile. She continued on her day, humming quietly to herself.  She knows to find delight when absurdity smacks her in the face.

portrait by Silvia Conti Niccolai