Disabilities tend to inspire the sort of coping mechanisms that people like to admire from afar. I have been disabled since before that word become fashionable. The encoding of my compensatory adjustment dwells at the cellular level. I need this process to keep mobile, but occasionally difficulties follow. One hip degenerated because I learned to favor the more spastic of my legs. My other hip, once crushed beneath the wheel of an Oldsmobile and the door of a Gremlin, has developed a permanent twist to offset its weakness and the pull of the failed knee replacement. It happens. One deals.
I spent most of 2018 flying to and from Kansas City to close out guardian ad litem cases. Between trips, I sent out resumes and drove around the Delta taking pictures with my cell phone. Eventually, I bought a rudimentary Canon.
Able-bodied photographers climb, crawl, hike, and scramble to get shots. I can’t do that. My car becomes an extension of my body. I hang from the window. I brace myself against the fender. I prop the camera on the door frame. My RAV4 serves as a piece of equipment.
My photos need a lot of adjustment. For various reasons, I’m unsuitable for this craft. I’ve got cataracts that no one desires to chance removing. One side lists. My hands tremble. Every few weeks, the weight of the camera challenges me.
But I enjoy taking pictures. I like to study the digital images, amazed by nuances that I didn’t notice, fixtures which my blurred eyes didn’t perceive, a fluttering wing that I hadn’t realized I managed to catch. I’ve got thousands of these photos. Without expectation, making no excuses, and claiming no grandeur, I offer a few for your enjoyment.
It’s the thirty-first day of the sixty-third month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.