A Conversation Stick
My walking stick arrived and It is pretty cool. I never imagined I would get excited about something like this. Using a mobility aid is not something that I eagerly embrace, and I believe a lot of people resist using it for the same reasons that I reluctantly started using one.
I have been using one for a couple of years after a stroke to prevent falls and give me some assistance when I am out and about.
It's interesting to me that I was unwilling to use a cane, mostly because I thought it made me look vulnerable and old. And it shouldn't really, because in Indigenous cultures elders are revered. In current times, though, even Indigenous people are not living up to how our ancestors treated their elders. But I also didn't like answering questions about what happened to me and why I had to use an aid. And if I am completely honest, perhaps I just didn’t want to be judged as weak.
When I thought more about it, though, I wondered why underneath I felt shame for requiring a cane. Where does that come from? Why did I feel shame? It really doesn't make sense. After all we don't have those same feelings if we wear glasses do, we? I should just be grateful that I am able to have mobility, albeit slowly.
Then, my daughter sent me a link to Neo-Walk, a company that designs and sells pretty cool looking walking sticks. They call it DNA. Which stands for “Do Not Ask.” The updated design using vibrant colours and clear acrylic material are a huge step up from the traditional canes. Neo-Walk also makes customized walking stick. This interests me, and I'm going to put my mind and creativity to think of a design I would like them to make me. I definitely like the feel of it. It is sturdy and feels safe. What more could I ask for? Once I create my design, my conversations will not be focused or why, and I needed to use a walking stick, but on the cool design. Taking this perspective is empowering.
As with any challenges we faced, resilience happens out of the necessity of being creative and having a perspective that empowers. Living in a global pandemic has proven this over and over again as our freedom became restricted and we had to pivot the way we do business. Perhaps I will design a walking stick similar to the staff wielded by Gandalf from Lord of the Rings: something conveying resilience, greatness and perhaps even magic.
Walking softly on Mother Earth, carrying a big stick. When you see me walking approach me and don’t ask me about any disability. Ask me about my magic because this is what resilience looks like when you are a proud owner of a Neo-Walk walking stick!
PS My stick is also better than bacon!