When I sell my books at public events, I meet the world. Moms, dads, kids, grandmas, bikers, immigrants, mechanics, teachers, and people who are fighting against a current of bad luck that has swept them into the unknown.
Yesterday a young woman in a motorized wheelchair, zipped over to my table and almost hungrily picked up and then put down my books. I asked the ritualized, “What do you like to read?”
She stopped moving and without meeting my eyes said, “I can’t read. I listen to audio books, but I can’t read. I wish I could.” Looking at her, I realized her disability had demolished the complex eye/brain interpretation of symbols that becomes reading.
She picked up another book and examined the bright cover of a girl leaning into the side of a horse. “It sucks to be disabled,” she told me wistfully.
We chatted awhile and then she turned her wheelchair away and disappeared into the crowd. I wished I had thought to tell her about Courageous Connections where she could have become that girl leaning against the side of a real horse. Smell the horsey scent, feel the warmth of velvety skin, hear the snorts of another being.
Like many of the clients who come to Courageous Connections, I hope she will be able to find the road past disability, trauma, or illness and experience the life-affirming connection that every one of us needs with other living creatures.
It sucks to be alone.
Contributing Author: Susan Brown