Jack-Baumgartner-2-PS800

The Wrestler

This painting by Jack Baumgartner portrays Jacob Wrestling the Angel from the book of Genesis. It’s a central metaphor for this blog – wrestling with life, health, urban issues, and even with God.

Vaccinations, MS, and the Psalms.

It’s March 3. And I am outside, in the park, the sky is blue and the sun is shining, and there is almost no snow on the ground. And on top of that, I got my first vaccination shot on Friday. It all feels as though there is light at the end of this very …

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On Grace. And Accessibility. (Part 2 of 2)

Well I finally did it. After three years of using this thing, I capsized my wheelchair; with me in it. I was coming home from a routine trip to the store. The roads have still not been cleared very well from the snow and I have to take a run for it up onto the …

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On grace. And accessibility. (1 of 2)

So far this winter the weather gods in Toronto have been smiling on us. That is unless you wanted snow. For me, who gets housebound in snow, I have been so thankful that the sidewalks and roads have not been impossible to navigate in my wheelchair thus far. But I’ve always known that the weather …

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My Christmas Grow-Op

Well I might as well add my voice to the mix and say that 2020 was one brutal year. Besides my own life being disrupted by this pandemic, so many others around me are struggling. There’s been so much death. So much sickness. So much struggle. It’s been hard to know where to look for …

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When it Rains it Pours

As I look out my door and see the sloppy, wet snow dampening the ground and making it impossible for me to go outside on this shitty, depressing first full day of winter, I realize this view lines up with how I’ve been feeling these days; shitty and depressed. Usually I don’t feel the winter …

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On when I used to cycle to work past SUVs, crack houses, churches, and friends

So I once rode the 7km from my home to my workplace every day. One day it really dawned on me how diverse this journey really was.

Beautifully brutal stories that live in my heart from the street

So many stories. So many real people with real blood running through their veins. Homelessness is not the entire CV/resume of the folks we see on the street. My life has been so enriched by the privilege of being able to hang out with very real, caring, compassionate, intelligent, broken people.

My new view from here

Now that I’m learning myself what it’s like to be in a wheelchair, I too have a different view of things. Not only a different view on life, but actually a different view of the things that I see in front of me. I’ve taken some photographs of how things look for me from this perspective and thought I would share them.

On landscaping, swimming, cemeteries, physical distancing, and whatever else comes to mind (part 3 of 3)

One of the things we wanted to do was to elevate the yard so that I could actually reach the soil and pull out a weed or two along the way. It’s kind of an accessible yard now which is kind of cool. But before that could happen things had to be turned upside down.

On landscaping, swimming, cemeteries, physical distancing, and whatever else comes to mind (part 2 of 3)

With Erinn being on holidays these past few weeks, we’ve been taking longer walks together. It’s been quite lovely to check out different parts of the city. One thing I love to do is go through cemeteries. There’s something about them that grounds me I guess. And in the city, a cemetery is like an oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life.

On landscaping, swimming, cemeteries, physical distancing, and whatever else comes to mind (part 1 of 3)

The first time we went to see Cate at camp, she had it all set up so that I could possibly go swimming that day. I was incredibly excited and a little scared as I haven’t been in a lake or a pool since I’ve been in this wheelchair, which has been 2 1/2 years. The guys that are working there were willing to put me on the lifeguard board and haul me down the hill to the lake. I’ve done this many times before when I was using the mobility scooter but it’s been a few years since doing that and my body is not quite the same as it was then.

More Random COVID Thoughts

It’s been a decent month overall. Still no COVID, knock on wood. It’s been an incredibly hot summer. Many days over 100°. Thank God for air-conditioning I guess.

Random COVID-19 thoughts (pt. 6)

I know it’s been a while since I’ve been here so I thought it would be a good time to put something up. There is so much happening in the world right now and it’s hard to know even where to start with random COVID-19 thoughts. But anyways, here are a few; 1. Racism. Even …

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Random COVID-19 Thoughts (pt. 5)

These are a few of my random COVID thoughts this past week as I have felt the tension of being both happy and angry at the same time. 1. I will start with angry. My wheelchair is broken. It has been for over a week now. One of my foot rests has broken off. Also, …

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Random COVID thoughts (4)

I really lucked out when she agreed to marry me. She had a birthday this week. I believe she’s getting more beautiful, inside and out, with every passing year. The earth has rotated around the sun 45 times with her on it and it is a much better place because of it.

Random COVID-19 Thoughts (pt. 3)

“I think God may actually hate us”. I’ve said this a few times this past week in jest. Well mostly in jest... In all honesty, this past week I have to confess I’m feeling kind of down. COVID fatigue really hit me hard these past few days.

Random COVID-19 Thoughts (2)

Speaking of prayer actually mattering, 31 people who were homeless got housed this week. The sceptic in me thinks that it wouldn’t have happened if it were not for COVID shaming the city into this. But whatever the rationale, this is a huge victory for so many people who were, up until now, sleeping outside in tents.

Random COVID-19 thoughts

I always buy Erinn a puzzle for Christmas. She loves taking Boxing Day to put it together. She’s really good and fast at doing them so this year I bought her one that seemed impossible so as to make it a little more difficult for her to do. The pieces were either all black or just a little bit of white and black making a picture of cool shells.