Mental and physical disability
We are all lines, imperfect and beautifully different, surrounded by something we cannot make sense of.
How would it feel to be a different line just for a day?
Sammy’s complex and arrhythmic mind worked like an electric calculator plugged in at the highest voltage. His math wizardry and his laser-sharp photographic memory transmitted images back to him in seconds. Remembering words and numbers on a page was what he did best. Sammy and his different mind left many amazed. Yet, Sammy was unaware of all the attention and wonder he was creating.
Sammy used the part of the brain that others used for communication towards complex calculations. He didn’t often understand people’s emotions and could not interpret their smiles or the affection in their eyes. Their physical touch made him uncomfortable, so he returned to his own world. Sammy had some survival rituals that were comforting to him. He would find a place where there were no bright lights and loud noises, and there he would find peace and calm; there, he could dance to the music he recognized at a pace that didn’t overwhelm his striking, fragile mind.
Doughie looked at Sammy and thought of how perfect he looked; he had two arms and two legs, and all four were the right shape and size. My arms don’t extend beyond chest height because of my rare TAR syndrome, and all my body is made to size. Sometimes people don’t realize I’m there; my voice is not loud enough, and it’s hard to push my way through the crowd, but I have two functioning legs that Emma hasn’t got; she will never get across the crowd with her wheelchair. Doughie thought as he looked at Emma with compassion.
Emma smiled at Doughie; she was thankful she had arms and hands that allowed her to move the wheelchair that carried her around everywhere. Her arms allowed her to play the violin, paint, sing, and do so many things she loved doing.
Doughie looked at Mandy’s disfigured face and was grateful for his good looks. Mandy observed Jerry, Sarah, and Doughie; she was thankful she was all intact. She had two hands, two legs, a functioning mind, and good health; she accepted the charred face she saw when she looked at herself in the mirror and always thought it could be worse.
Jerry looked at the group and had no idea they were all different. Jerry’s mind was not able to comprehend as easily as others. Jerry had a mental illness that affected his thoughts, mood, behaviour, and the way he saw the world around him. Jerry did not understand that Bella was no longer with them. Everyone thought of Bella, and each was grateful they were still alive.
The rest of the world admired their magnificence and splendour, unable to deny they were exceptional, but above all…they were beautifully different.