"Sublime views of the limitless are motivating. But occlusion and opacity, the very density of the body, which we cannot “peer” into, thus having a perspective, enable real seeing and hearing. Call this the “inertial heft” of embodiment. How can the inertial heft, the fact of our own perspective, be useful in its very limitations?"
"Somatics do not replace representational politics, the crucial regulatory interventions, say, of the ADA [Americans with Disability Act], or the ESA [Endangered Species Act], but offer a site for communication, between different kinds of systems rather than solely within the legal structure. Where the law offers protection, somatics offer transformation. A somatic practice provokes the environment by, in a sense, letting go of the body’s hold on it. Somatic perception is fundamentally participatory, slips through the subject-object interpellations of spectacle and discipline, demanding contact, vulnerability, opening up to irrational forms of resonance."
I think of the body as the ultimate constraint-based, real time based method. My work as "disability advocate" which is basically research and peer counseling, instead of social work. Doing with. As a kind of sack race toward a goal. (How to counsel myself, now that I am cut off from Medicaid, an aide code mistake, $1600 share-of-cost for the month. I'll fix it with enough informed fit-throwing, for me it is not an immediate disaster as it would be for some of my clients. Though it will turn into one if I don't finesse and research the fit-having just right. And by fit, I mean being very civil and informed and monitoring what is happening now, my pulse racing a bit, the dread of Monday calls to make--that latter as me just running the panic. Run it. Like a tap, till it reaches the right, restorative tempature.)
but the best thing about Skinner's post, was his drawing my attention to this
"I stopped just on the other side of the Yuba River, to check out something called the Independence Trail. It turns out that the trail — occupying the site of old, abandoned hydraulic miner’s ditch — was built in answer to a request to, 'Please find me a level wilderness trail where I can reach out and touch the wildflowers from my wheel chair.' It is a mostly level trail, shaded by oak and pine, that contours the slope of the undeniably wild Yuba River valley, with views to the river below. At the time, I did not know that this trail, the 'First Wheelchair Accessible Wilderness Trail in America,' had been created by one John Olmsted."
I won't steal the photo of these raised wooden paths of this Trail that he has posted on his Jacket2 piece, but they make me want o get to Mendocino immediatemente. Surely better than the little adventure I had on Thursday--getting lost leaving Fort Mason after doing a wheel chair user sensitivity training for Golden Gate Park ranger/staff folk. I was skidding along on the old mobility scooter, down a rain-slick hill and then did one one of my iffy depth perception maneuvers--caught air time as I scootered over a set of short stairs where the sidewalk merged into the steps of an austere building entrance. There was no difference in pavement color to indicate the level change and because I didn't know I was flying, I flew and was fine. Landed. The rangers would have been proud or aghast. I was far from them by then. Anyway, you can see the photos of the paths from Skinner and read more of his post here. Fascinated by the coincidence that this Trail was created by one Mr. Olmsted, so similar to the Olmstead name. That decision, which is the basis for the alternatives-to-nursing-homes work I do now. Reminds me that I want to somehow convene regular meetings of my nursing home clients, who are working on discharge, at Yerba Buena Park. Next year--when it is the autumn's summer weather. It would be a feat to get everyone there with power chairs, oxygen, negative pressure valves, conservatorship law, et al. (Would it be sufficient peer counseling/advocacy work to communicate to my clients that San Francisco is beloved and malleable to me because I have been able to traverse it?)
And then I caught up on Thom Donovan's piece, also on Jacket2, and was vastly held by the following
"But the lyric is also what actively produces disaster — disaster as that starless condition without plans, destiny, fate. It is in such a wreck, a counter-wreck if you will, that the poem can open towards conditions of possibility for bodies, a general intellect or affective ground for a future multitude or commons. Archaeologies of morning and mourning (moaning?)."
and have found it fitting to match some other of his words with collages from Day of the Dead. (See yesterday's blog post.)
Got gorgeous Schizophrene in the mail from BK, wiht Rohini Kapil's luminous pink tropcial modern on it (whom I have never met, but would very very much like to). "This is autobiography (life writing), in enthusiastic map-defying movemernt," Thom Donovan writes in one of the blurbs for the book. It is thrilling to see the words "life writing" figure in this way, on this kind of book. Re-infused, what I wanted for Write To Connect.
Speaking of Mendocino and such, I have hardly had time to account for the HSU trip. The Lost Coast Cafe and Mario's soup, for Rosemary Clooney and Lady Gaga coexistent on the car ride, for two Italian lesbians that fed me nonstop, for professor Janet's Blue Heron House and her challah and how she heated my bed with that whirring fan, and the professor Christina who speaks just like my aunt Celeste and helped me buy proton pump inhibitors at a small grocer's store in Trinidad, just off the ocean, when my stomach got dangerous. The DAMN event and the amazing, young, disabled, trans Critical Race Gender and Sexuality Studies students I met at Humboldt State. I will endeavor to share some of their writing now on the W2C blog.
But it occurs to me, lastly, here tonight, that a blog post is like an a altar for placing names into a continuing.