Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spending a moment with you

I love to read blogs.

If I have time, I like to read a few blogs in the morning. Sometimes I can't do this, because of the demands of my job. If I'm really busy, I wait and read blogs later in the day after my work is done. I like to have some quiet when I read friends' blogs, because I consider it to be a way to spend a moment with them even if they're far away.

The easiest one to explain is Wheelchair Dancer. When she is on tour, I imagine that I'm along with her group, perhaps peering from the curtains at the performances or encouraging everyone at rehearsals. She describes the hotels, the audiences , and venues, so this isn't hard to do.

I know many bloggers who write about disability topics. Some are experts and many are advocates who care deeply about our communities. Their dedication is extraordinary.

I don't read blogs just for the quality of writing, but some of my favorite bloggers are writers and poets. Although I always plan to save the writers for last, I generally read their blogs first.

It is only after I catch up on reading other blogs that I write a post for my blog. I sometimes break this rule , but always regret it. If I write before I read, I feel as if I'm being rude- almost as if I met someone on a walk, we were catching up on things and I interrupted him as he was trying to explain how he was doing.

It is that respectful listening that has been key to the joy of writing and reading blogs. Terri writes about how comments left on a piece almost shouted "Just shut up!" to the writer.

I've certainly experienced that, where people have tried to pressure me to change what I say or how I say it or not to say it at all. Speaking up about my perspective and allowing readers to do that is a necessary transition in a society where the nondisabled perspective is the predominant one.

If you live with a disability, I encourage you to speak up about your experiences. Make a YouTube video, start a blog, participate in a message board. And let me know about it.

I look forward to spending a moment with you.


sd said...

I write two blog about being disabled.

Terri said...

Good morning Ruth--it's great to spend a moment with you as well! I like checking in on my friends and hearing what's going on with them and in the world too. The internet is awesome!

Meredith Gould said...

You got me thinking about whether I read other bloggers before I write stuff for my own blog. Hmmm...I think I read the inspirational and funny stuff but hold off on those who are also writing culture commentary (especially about church and faith) so I'm not unduly influenced? Seems to be the sequence. Like what you've written here about staying true to one's own vox.

Wheelchair Dancer said...

I read, too, before I write; it's a way of situatiing myself in the disability world. And, yes, spending moments with you -- online and in real life -- are an important part of how I am able to be in the world.



Astrid said...

I definitely read others' blogs before writing my own posts. There are a few I check on a daily basis, like FWD/Forward, and a huge number that aren't as regularly updated, which I check into every once in a while. Sometimes, other bloggers inspire me to write my own posts, too.

On an unrelated note, your blog is really slow to load for some reason and often crashes my browser, both when I'm on my mobile connection and on DSL. I'm not sure why this is, but I wanted to let you know, since it is one major reason I stopped reading your blog, that I otherwise very much enjoy.

Ruth said...


Thanks for letting me know about the technical problems you're having. Will let the powers that be know about it.

Matthew Smith said...

A lot of websites, including this one, which have a lot of third-party pull-in content take a long time to load sometimes. This is particularly true when a lot of images are used and when blogrolls hosted on other sites are included. Womanist Musings is another I find often takes a long time to load, and some sites seem to have their themes located on servers away from where the actual content lies, so the text (or some of it) loads but the theme doesn't, and when you click stop, it just blanks the browser.

I've had a few problems with "shut up" comments on my own blog - usually people telling me my posts about disability issues (like a recent one about a bed-ridden woman being threatened with extradition, and one from last year about the Kaney O'Neill case) not being relevant to the religious view which is supposedly what my blog is meant to be all about. As if I'm not entitled to write what I like on a website I pay for. Sadly, the post (and entire blog) Terri referred to (by the mother of the girl with Down's syndrome) has been removed.