Day 267: Abling

April 5th, 2019 § 0 comments

Having been, over the last few weeks, more disabled than I can care to remember, I can pass on a few tips on the long and painful inverse process of becoming abled. if you have become,Nick-and-Vicky-740-x-417-1 disabled, the NHS will spend a certain number of weeks abling you free of charge, with carers to wash you and phystotherapists to try to get your feeble frame back to its former ability. You begin in a spirit of confidence – good heavens, this disabled part of my body seems much more abled than it was last week; I can walk along the hall, and even back with sticks; type a letter, read a tweet, etc etc. But ahead of this, the goal of being actually declared able (and being able in my own mind) seems to have vanished to an indefinite distance. Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 19.23.21

Me, Virginie and Zimako in happier days, 2015.

And indeed what is it? If the NHS declares me able, can I argue with their conclusions? There seems to be much more to this business of abling than I  had imagined; and the process stretches out indefinitely,there being so many disabled parts of me which need to be abled. Islington has in its kindness been providing something like an army of ablers who will teach me to do for myself what I have forgotten; but like any of the State’s provisions, this is necessarily limited in time, and at a certain point the process of abling will necessarily cease, leaving me, I have to conclude, only partly abled.


I’d rather be able, and working in the jungle – which of course doesn’t exist any more. When can I shave, or do a crossword, or any of those essential activities which (one doesn’t realise) one couldn’t carry on one’s daily existence without? Most nights I try to watch an educational film by Pasolini or Annnemarie Jacir on the lapt0p, with some difficulty (I”m not sufficiently enabled to get the movie to stream to me), trying to piece together the implications of the social context. What social context, I might ask, am I embedded in? I have left disabled those things which I ought to have abled, and I don’t see where to get help.

It involves, inevitably, exercise, and if you don’t like exercise or can’t face it, you might as well forget it and stay disabled. Bend that knee, lift that right arm. Pain? Gain. Get motivated, for Chtrist’s sake!

Please help me, friends, and that soon.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Please help me, friends, and that soon.

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