A blank slate, that is the day. One could say that I have awakened too early. Or that I am awake to things…too early. Whatever, once Jane has walked me…and this, it must be said, I have in common with her dogs…I find myself at a loss. My emotional state being what it is, I am at a loss for Jane. How could she go to work and leave me here? As for the dogs, let us not be flippant. Jane is a nurturer. If she loves a mammal and it needs walking, trust me, she is there. Okay, so I do not require a retractable lead, like the dogs Bixby and Bella, but I do require an arm to lean on, amounting to the same thing. Either way, watch as Jane’s dogs bound out of her car after some period of confinement, and you will see the very essence of cooped up love. The latter being a cross-species phenomenon, not to mention cross-social-class and even cross-purpose. You just do the right thing, that is the message I see in much of Jane’s activities, church-related and other. Do it, feel good about doing it, and let the resultant chips fall where they may.

Which brings me out to the garden. Where else? Such a transitional time. The garlic is keeling over. Exhausted from its labors, it is throwing in the botanical towel. My work is done here, the chlorophyll cells are saying. You, the garlic bulb, must now carry on the grand tradition.

The sense of things carrying on, this is important to me at this my own stage of beginning to keel over. Yes, my own green tops are showing every sign of biological vigor, but the vigor is not quite what it was. Big deal. Plenty left. But still we have that need, the sense that something will carry on. In the absence of offspring, what is springing off?

Such a time in America. The web does provide a view of things beyond my experience and beyond my ken. With so much under attack these days, I keep wondering about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Is the ADA threatened? Hard to say. Certainly people keep making threats. Take the websites of some of America’s leading conservative think tanks. To hear them describe it, the ADA is yet another example of Big Government telling us what to do. How does one argue? Does one even bother?

Thing is, hanging around Jane, the possibility of dialogue seems always in the air. And it is intriguing, this possibility. Why give up? Let’s keep talking, the impulse goes.

The web. Utterly remarkable. I was looking for various quotes from the conservative columnist, P.J. O’Rourke. He’s a popular writer, has several books out, a frequent guest on quiz shows and so on. And he can be quite funny. Thing is, O’Rourke also lists wheelchair ramps among the litany of ways in which the government interferes with the lives of fellow Americans. Among his favorite anecdotes, eyeing the post office in his small New England town. Skateboarders routinely roll up and down the wheelchair ramp, and no, they’re not buying stamps. They are not in a wheelchair, worse. And they are, as far as O’Rourke is concerned, living evidence of the mindless waste behind mandating wheelchair access.

In a nation so atomized, what sort of dialogue is possible? I gather that P.J. O’Rourke cannot imagine being, say, at the height of his career, struck down by a drunk driver…and finding himself permanently in a wheelchair. Wouldn’t he have the impulse to hang onto life, to keep working, traveling, promoting books, going on talk shows, making almost as many personal appearances as before? So I imagine P.J. O’Rourke in this circumstance, bravely carrying on with his disabled life, and not infrequently on the road. And honestly, it would take no more than a few weeks of using the accessible stalls in airport men’s rooms, checking into hotels with roll-in showers…and wheeling up the ramps into restaurants, radio studios, drugstores and everywhere else…to generally get the idea. There is more than one idea actually. But the net result would be the same. Suddenly, a wheelchair-using P.J. O’Rourke would find other topics much more interesting than the supposed uselessness of access ramps.

Except that all this seems so obvious. What’s to discuss?

The web. While looking up some of these articles and quotes from O’Rourke, it’s quite amazing what related material exists. Trains. Why do governments support the construction of train lines? It’s because when people are on trains, their leaders know where they are. Rails are inherently totalitarian. Yes, we have people in this great nation who actually believe this. Never mind the infrastructure needs of an industrial society. Cars are individual. Trains are collective. And the latter must be stopped. I rest my case.

Comments are closed.