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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Rite: A Poem

It is the death of another day.

As the sun sets far away.

I lay in bed in fear and awe.

Will the sun rise again?

It is the rite -

Of day and night,

Of dawn and dusk.

Of birth and death.

That feeling of not knowing,

The next turn to take.

Will there be a tomorrow.

What if nothing?

I cannot help but wait -

For sleep takes over.

A kind of death.

Inevitable. Necessary.

Will I wake up again?

Will darkness turn into light?

Will I prevail over nothing?

Does it matter?

I trust in the rite. I hope,

That dawn will follow dusk,

Day will replace night,

Life will survive death.

But it is only a hope,

The day after may never be

So now, we must be free.

And hold on to nothing.

Gordon C. Cardona – 17 October 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Body Paradox

Yesterday, I finished my second day at work after a long absence. I was relieved to know that I had got through a second day as the first one was difficult and physically stressful. However, I got to meet my colleagues again ... And my friends. I felt a person again. At the same time, I am changed by my previous experience at hospital. Was it a nightmare?

One may be forgiven to think that my return to work was premature. Don't think I didn't have my own doubts. Yet I knew that I had to get away from the temptation of giving up to self-pity. I had to live again for this life without people was no life at all. It's hard to admit I know but so true.

Going back to work was necessary to remember who I was. Or rather to shift my attention from my body which had been the fixation of those around me. Not that it was inappropriate but perhaps too much.I wasn't my medical condition. Not my impairments. Here comes the paradox. I was a person, yes, but the world knows me through my body and interacts with my face, voice or touch. I won't go as far as taste or smell but those also come with the package.

Thus, in all honesty, deciding to start working was influenced by the fact my place of work was accessible. So, while I am not my body, the body is part of me. It's surprising how often I've met people who profess their commitment to equal opportunity and then drag their feet when it comes to providing things that would really make a difference. Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with dragging your feet - believe me I've done quite aplenty in my life (literally and not).

Believe me, all the words in favour of inclusion and equality cannot hide the fact that having a lift and a screen reader gave me the choice to work again. Of course, society played a vital part. And so is the mutual respect and support of my friends and colleagues. Yet, in the real world, people - however good or kind - won't be carrying you up the stairs or read to you. Nor do I expect that'd. It's undignified and just unneeded! When there are other options.

In short, I come to a full circle. I am more aware of the influence of society, on the one hand, and thee inescapable presence of my body. However, I refuse to believe I'm determined by any of them. Indeed, it's in our interest to transcend them to make the world a better one for all.

."All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual"
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Hospital after Shock: Random Reflections

On the 27th September, I was hospitalised at our state hospital Mater Dei where I had to spend nine days until I got better. Yes, the doctors and nurses and others who worked there at the M3 ward where I was consigned as Bed 9 were supportive and treated me well.

This post isn't about that. It's about the sense of helplessness and emptiness that hospital, like any institution, leaves behind. I remain amazed and somewhat shocked at how such an experience affects me on a personal level each time it occurs.

I remember getting into hospital with a job and ideas for my research thesis, only to discover that inasmuch as I pretended to be a significant person so to speak, i was once more a subject requiring a diagnosis and treatment followed by a prognosis. My daily routine dictated by a regiment comprised of blood testing, temperature readings, exercises and the visit of countless medical students who were supposed to discover "what was wrong with me.".

Granted,I did give my consent to these medical interrogations because I understand that these will be future doctors and they need to learn that what they refer to as patients were and are persons first. I also agreed to having my body scrutinised, I confess, because time became almost irrelevant when I knew that the decision on when I could leave was beyond my control.

Thankfully, our hospital has now the facility of offering cable television, a telephone service and Internet to each individual patient at a fee which meant that I wasn't totally cut off from the world. However, the screen needs some work as I found difficulties in using the touch interface given my visual impairment. Not to mention how awkward it was to answer the phone with my physical impairment. Honestly, this technology was partly disabling me which added to my frustration.sometimes I also relied on my iPhone to entertain myself at times I just couldn't sleep.

Yet, in spite of all the possible distractions I could think of, life here was missing something important. Friends and family did visit. Friends on FaceBook also sent their wishes. I was moved and thankful. And it wasn't enough. After a week, it felt a link with the world had been severed. Not forever but the damage had been done.

I'm not sure if you're understanding my position. In truth, I need to understand it myself. The fact is that the days I spent in hospital reminded me how terrible it is to be stripped of an identity and perceived only one dimensionally - in this context as a medical subject and object. The horror of realising that you are vulnerable and really nothing in comparison to nature and the universe. It's both a humbling and humiliating experience. To think that all my life i had tried escape from being reduced to a label or stereotype. To fight for the right to be who I want to be. Only to realise how easy it is to lose, even for a few days, exactly what?

I know that this is an atypical post. It's charged with personal reflections which may appear obscure and random. But there aren't devoid of meaning. I admit that this experience has affected me greatly. I need to put back the pieces. What is sure that it reawakened my awareness of the potential destructive power we have. The threat of an institution based on superficiality and generalisations.I'm referring to the disabling tendency of society to view people with impairment as partially human. Forgetting the fact that we don't want to be special but ourselves. And this isn't just about disabled people. It concerns all of us. As long as we keep living in fear of ourselves preferring the safety of our limited experience and misconceived prejudice, the world will …regress. I think that I will end this post here. For I return to work on Monday.