Yesterday I went to see "The Dancer" exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. (Here's a lesson on the evils of procrastination--- if you put off going to see an exhibit at a museum, when you finally do have the time to see it, you may not be able to walk). I had to put my already somewhat deflated pride on the floor and run over it with a wheelchair. I was able to smile about it, a little, when I saw this sign and begged the security guard to let me take a picture with it:
Too ironic for words...
I have been gaining a whole new appreciation and sympathy for handicapped people over the past few weeks, and this outing was another chapter in that lesson. Art exhibits are arranged for adults who are standing upright, looking at the art on the wall. Children and wheelchair-bound people have to look at it from below. I realized that I've also always taken for granted the simple ability to turn around easily and at will. In a wheelchair, you can't see what's going on behind you unless you crane your neck or are skilled enough to maneuver your chair around quickly. I felt like I had blinders on, was bulky and awkward and in the way (I can't believe I didn't run over someone's foot), and very quickly was stiff and achy from sitting in this uncomfortable chair. It was hard to appreciate what I was there to look at.
Just another page in this chapter of my life, I suppose. I can't say that I'm going to come out of this unchanged, that's for sure.