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.

The Long and winding Road

Yes, it’s been another tough season. Multiple Sclerosis continues to eat away at my body. And I’ve been doing yet another stint in a rehabilitation hospital to try and get better use of my extremities. Along the way they found a sizeable kidney stone in my right kidney and felt very strongly about going in …

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4 weeks and 3 days in hospital

It’s been four weeks and three days now since I have been admitted to the hospital. And some of those days have been the hardest of my life. Erinn and I went to a movie four weeks and three days ago. (We went to see the Aretha Franklin movie which as an aside was pretty …

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My summer woes (2 of 2)

So on the summer woes front, I’m also seeing lots of pictures of Newfoundland these days. People are on the water fishing, folks are enjoying Newfoundland food, and family are enjoying being with each other. My dad just turned 80, and I was the only sibling who couldn’t be there to celebrate with him. There …

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My summer woes (1 of 2)

There is accessible. And then there’s truly accessible. And almost nothing for my needs is truly accessible. When I was in the shelter world, working amongst folks who are homeless, we talked a lot about ‘affordable’ versus ‘truly affordable‘ housing. Affordable housing was calculated based 30% of a person’s income. So if you made $48,000 …

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The day someone assumed I was homeless

Well, it finally happened. Erinn and I were running some banking  errands the other day. It was crazy hot so as she went into a building to get something, I waited in the shade at the next place we needed to go to. As I’m sitting there, minding my own business, watching the world go …

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On Elevators, Covid, Rhythms, MS, God, and TV (Part 2 of 2)

“This pandemic, in a very different way, has been a broken elevator that has stopped us all from experiencing life in the expected way…” This is a direct quote from my friend and teacher Allen Proctor after reading yesterday’s post. He is the executive director of the Haden Institute where I studied to become a …

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On Elevators, Covid, Rhythms, MS, God, and TV (Part 1 of 2)

Well, it was a long winter. Not so much because there was a ton of snow that made me housebound, but because there was just simply no place to go due to this Covid thing. On top of that, my elevator broke. For those of you who do not know my current situation, our basement …

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A forced quarantine (without covid)

My elevator stopped working. Last Thursday night after dinner I went to go downstairs but my lift would not work. So brutal. I had very little idea of what to do. My bed is downstairs and it is almost impossible for me to stay in my chair for the night. I’m so dependant on these …

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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.