“Just use this time to rest,” the doctor advised me as though he was delivering good news.
Rest as a concept did not exist in my worldview. While melancholy and illness doubtlessly pranced rampantly through Appalachian Georgia’s red-clay hills where I grew up, lack defined life. Extended periods of rest without productivity were far removed from a life of dirt-under-the-fingernails. I was taught that no impairment should excuse a body from working. The catastrophically ill for whom work was no realistic option were largely reduced to taxidermy animals: lifelike, immobile, and widely understood to be expensive, useless, and resented. Most I knew spent their days inside, measuring their days in television static and soft chimes that rustle the collecting dust on a mantle clock. I later came to question these representations: as part of the problem. [Read more…] about TIME TO REST: Rethinking disability and research