Got your sparkly frock ready for the gala? No? That's fine. Blogging, and this blog carnival in particular, are all about "come as you are." And "as you are" is spectacular. Don't doubt that for a minute: the diverse disability blogging community is strong, thoughtful, funny, eloquent, creative, committed and punctual. Punctual? Well, yeah. We've had 23 previous editions of the carnival--exactly as scheduled, nobody flaked, nobody even posted late without warning. Many, many blog carnivals fade away after a few editions, or publish irregularly, unable to gin up the enthusiasm or volunteers to sustain a regular frequency. Enthusiasm and volunteers we have never lacked.Welcome to the first anniversary edition of the Disability Blog Carnival!
Here are the links to the previous 23 editions of the carnival:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
It's become a Thursday morning treat (for me, and I know for others) to see what the latest host has concocted from the most recent submissions. Thanks the hosts Kay Olson, David Gayes, The Goldfish, Emma Crees, Stephen and Connie Kuusisto, Daniel Goldberg, Mark Siegel, Leila Monaghan, Amanda Baggs, Leonard Alexander, Tokah, Kathryn, Jana Remy, Andrea Chandler, Jennifer Justice, Hala, Zephyr, and Jodi Reimer for taking your turns at the helm. Each of you brought something wonderful and unique to the job. And additional thanks to the many, many others who wrote entries, submitted links, left comments, mentioned the carnival to others, or just read and enjoyed. Here's to continuing and building this community event into year two and beyond!
Why is the Disability Blog Carnival worthwhile? As Able Writer Says, it's sometimes hard to get disability culture and news from other online sources without a lot of misinformation and disablism. (The media situation is improving, says Connie Kuusisto, but there's much more work to be done.) Because, as Angry for a Reason explains, TV writers are still labeling an improbable proportion of the "bad guys" with words like "borderline," and somebody has to notice. Because it's not just a corrective, but a celebration, an unbounded, joyous, riotous, loud, disturbing, defiant space, like a carnival should be, Wheelchair Dancer reminds us.
The theme set for this edition was, perhaps appropriately, "Milestones." I knew I was choosing a fraught word when I went with that particular metaphor. Ettina begins an excellent post for this edition with an important Public Service Announcement:
Person 1: What's got him so upset?Wait till the pharmaceutical companies figure out the market on treating "excess mile stones," eh? Shiloh suggests one group that may be prone to mistreating their milestones. Andrea's experiencing the midlife milestones with a new round of medical complications. Greg at Pitt Rehab is also passing a midlife milestone: "At 40 I am much more capable of handling changes. I am much more thankful for the people in my life. I am better educated about the world around me. I would like to think more patient and empathetic with people in general." Bruce also takes the opportunity of the theme to look at where he's been, and where he's going: "In the 2000's you can just call us Nanny and PaPa, like our grandaughter."
Person 2: He's got a bad case of mile stones.
Person 1: Oh, yeah, I know how that hurts. You just feel so useless when your mile stones are acting up.
Voice Over: Mile stones can be good for you, but excess mile stones are harmful. They sap away the pride in your achievements and interfere with caring for yourself. A related condition is Shoulda Syndrome. Shoulda Syndrome is characterized by thinking 'shoulda done this' 'shoulda done that'. If you have Shoulda Syndrome, mile stones might be the underlying cause.
Developmental milestone charts like the one at left are the bane of many parents--"what to expect," ha!--ask Emily Elizabeth, who calls them her Arch Nemesis. David describes the milestones game from the kid's perspective: "...when you are a child growing up with a disability, many people...focus solely on your milemarkers, as though the milemarkers and the journey are one and the same." David has some insightful reminders about the folly of watching the milemarkers instead of the road itself, and the beauty along the way. And Dream Mom has a wise, personal post about her son's prospects, concluding "I need to just love him for who he is, not what he didn't become. I guess in the end, none of that matters, or maybe it never did."
So maybe sometimes we mark the passage of time, events and achievements in our own ways--disability culture, anyone? Wheelyfast agrees: "Most people probably don’t get why this is such a big deal, but it is a big deal to me." Hannah has found a fun way to mark the outgrowing of one's AFOs--and I bet all the standard-issue Elmos are jealous. Kristina Chew offers a few pointers about transitions in 3, 5, 8, What Awaits. Jodi at Reimer Reason is thrilled by teen behavior (how often can a parent say that?): "He rolled his eyes at me. It was age appropriate. It was great. I'm celebrating." Catherine at Charming BB has composed a Seuss-inspired post about the many appointments with specialists she's attended with her son in the past year. Here's the last stanza:
I'm hoping our medlationships last last last last,
and that we always avoid the smelly spica cast.
Stephen Kuusisto took note of the anniversary of receiving his first guitar, which brought him to ponder how "music and poetry are daily milestones." (Speaking of poetry, Pedestrian Hostile has been musing on rocks and building and creativity too.) And the Resident Alien confessed to her first (and maybe last) time "cussing someone out."
Several disability-related blogs have marked milestones lately: the excellent Special Education Law Blog maintained by Charles P. Fox passed its second anniversary last month, by observing Lessons Learned. Dave Hingsburger celebrated one year of Chewing the Fat this week, and decided not to hit the 'erase blog' button (whew!). McNair marked his 300th post at Disabled Christianity, saying "I have grown to believe that people with disabilities are designed to be as they are because they are critical, they are an essential part of the body of Christ." On the downside, the literary journal Mindprints has recently ceased publication, prompting an elegy from DisPoet.
Some of the Down syndrome blogging community is observing Down Syndrome Awareness Month with "Get it Down: 31 for 21" in October, with members pledging to post every single day of the month to tell more stories and be more visible. Among them, Bits of Betsy explains how "you start to realize that it will be o.k. Its o.k. to take it a bit slower and to meander through the milestones instead of racing through them." From a very different context, a similar sentiment on action and achievement: "Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them," wrote St. Therese of Lisieux, whose October 1 feast day was marked by Daisy. Need a vision of beauty, of youth, of promise? Check out "Our First Framed Portraits," photographs of and by the Teen Possibles of Nova Scotia.
And finally, literal milestones--like, the ones that actual mark off the miles (or kilometers)--we see those too. Elizabeth McClung and her partner recently rolled/ran in a 5K for breast cancer research in Victoria. And my own family will be walking/rolling/scootering in a 5K for accessible playgrounds this weekend. Fingers crossed for good weather, please! (Photo at right is my family with some USC student helpers in last year's 5K--I took it, so I'm not in the shot.)
Ruth at Wheelie Catholic says that the Carnival is a chance to leave markers and find each other's markers along the road--I've enjoyed finding your markers, and I hope you've found a few worth noting too. So keep posting, and we'll keep gathering twice a month to bring it all to the Carnival.
Next time, the Carnival goes to Kara Sheridan's blog, If the World Had Wheels, on October 25. (Kara recently organized the the first annual Anti-Telethon Blogswarm, so she's proven more than ready to organize a mass of links and viewpoints!) When I find out the theme, I'll edit this to include that too. But the drill hasn't changed: you can submit links at the blogcarnival.com form, or by leaving a comment here, or by emailing me or Kara, it'll get to us somehow for consideration.