Kabir Kadre
Kabir Kadre
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Shelter within.

Kabir kadre|3 months, 15 days ago

I made it to my desk nine hours ago. It’s funny, reflecting this way…

While the whole world is in the sense on stay-at-home orders, that’s kind of been the case for me for 17 years now as a quadriplegic.

Of course, with little exception I’ve been mostly free to come and go at will in that time period. Still, it’s never quite so spontaneous as jumping up to take a walk, or choosing at the last minute to change direction in the day.

Of course there’ve been days when I simply spontaneously change direction, jump out the door, and go for a walk. But on the other hand it’s never quite that simple. At the very least there is the whole organizing a second party to make it possible, and generally after that the lifting, transferring, stowing, collecting bits to ensure preparation for eventualities, etc.…

Inertia has played a big role these last 17 years. Not entirely accountable to my own mobility, the weight of my body has persistently been the minimum measure of effort required. Quite a different story when the muscle mass being lifted is not that doing the lifting…

So in the face of that inertia, the question has always been – at least beneath the surface or in the background – “how much of that loving, that is the work of the hands and feet, can I get done right here where I am with what I have?”

And so I find myself defaulting to the question, how long was I able to spend today at my desk, enabled by the bright screens in front of me, microphones, trackball, and keyboard, to create, share, engage, listen, and respond…

Nine hours of focus feels pretty good on any given day. Breakfast at one end, dinner at the other; breakfast and lunch more often than not at the desk…

“… Nine hours ago…” The recognition comes with a sense of relaxed satisfaction and a hint of gratitude.

Thanks right now to the community of people that have come together thus far in support of my crowdfunding initiative, today is the first Sunday in months, probably since November, that I have felt the capacity to simply be spacious; the weekly review ritual went somehow faster than usual, somehow at leisure I was able to read a few articles passed my way in recent days and weeks by friends, venture outside into the sun and make a few calls, continue the thread of correspondence answering emails, chatting on the phone, enjoying the video connection across the continent…

This is my Sunday ritual as intended: grocery list, weekly review, reading, correspondence, creativity… Today met that recipe precisely.

I had intended to work more pointedly, to move forward additional communications around the campaign (which definitely needs a better name if I’m going to keep saying and speaking about it…) Yep by the grace of a community of kindness, with levity I could allow myself to relax into the spontaneous phone calls, text messages, to dwell a little longer in the inbox of friendly conversations, and finally today, to “paint” a little more.

I may have mentioned the painting before… Crafting some shapes, possibly collage of photo, laying down a little texture and sharpening with the Adobe software suite, before moving the product over to the Corel Painter software to soften the edges and express the vision of the piece through more organic shapes reflecting the underlying structure and direction.

I am grateful for the spontaneous apparitions of imagination, and delighted like a child to bring them to the screen and even on good fortunate occasion into the world on paper or canvas… “One day, a show…” He muses, for now to himself…

I thought when I came to these words this evening that I might be writing something more specific to our collective and shared circumstance. How and where do we find ourselves today, what sense do we make, is this just getting by, or is there some deeper opportunity at play?

The pain of the world is palpable. Systems overloaded, perhaps out of balance for decades or longer; patterns of community disrupted and reformulating; daily routines completely disoriented and uprooted; our identities and feelings, even perhaps our ordinary brain function, move like boiling oceans – cresting novelty and washing waves of complacency and surrender…

“There is a war between those who say there is a war and those who say there isn’t.” Said the poet Leonard.

Some seek to shine a light on what is positive and possible, others express concern of creeping oligarchical reach into liberties and wealth, still others strive to draw our attention to the systems and how badly they must need change, others simply despondent…

The message I am moving towards, I suspect, is one simply of asking ourselves – in this time of pain, agitation, and disruption, how might we see ourselves and one another, each and every one of us, a little more clearly through the rawness and the nakedness of the moment?

What parts of ourselves can we spot through this terrible disruption of the status quo which was arguably not quite so angelic in its own right?

I have written in my notes today, with the intention to repeat in some more coherent narrative, “I will not be overwhelmed by the world.”

I have to chuckle, taunting myself a little – “who are you kidding? You’ve been overwhelmed by the situation of your own life itself, let alone the world!” I say this to myself, laughing, but knowing all the while through my jabs, that I am just enough of a fool that I will not be dissuaded.

It seems against the odds, against my own self-doubt, against my own ignorance, confusion, broken gate and stumbling, against all of this, some seed in me will remain optimistic, believing in the dark that the light I have glimpsed somewhere in my imagination or along the roadside, is just about to burst forth and tilt the scales towards justice, truth, goodness, and beauty…

I do hope I can offer this in some coherent fashion soon. Tomorrow. Perhaps tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow…


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God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…