Thursday, January 18, 2007


First, it was a funny day for postings on Craigslist Denver. Someone advertised for a "small office helper." Someone else was "looking for a bar--$150 (ill pick up)"

We've come headlong into the realities of our individual disabilities lately. I remembered that not long ago I was pondering the nature of fibromyalgia and came up with a story idea I may never use. The thing that prompted it is that people with fibromyalgia seem to have a bizarre relationship with energy. I am not one of those people who believe in the holistic natural healing "energy adjustment" stuff. This is something different. People with fibro seem to be "energy suckers". For example, many report that they wear out 5-year watch batteries in one year--repeatedly (I do!). And that street lights go out when they come near (I know this happens to everyone--but not 10 or 20 times a month!). And yet they often lack the energy to function themselves. It's bizarre. Late scientific research indicates people with fibro have an inability to process ATP properly, which is related to energy production in the body.

So, where that all went was, "In fiction, I could take it one step further." Say, we have a world where people with fibro have the ability to manipulate energy with superhero powers--if they take the time to learn how. BUT, like real fibro, they are cursed with near-constant pain in their lives, and challenges that make it hard to be part of society. The idea expanded to other disabilities, too. What if we had a world where anyone could become a superhero by learning to use their gifts to serve the world, but they had to deal with the fact that they had severe disabilities that would counter their efforts, and they had to work around them or just end up "normal people" forever.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized it's not Science Fiction. That's reality. And I write fiction, so I never wrote the story and probably never will.

But we've run into that headlong this week--sometimes it seems that the harder we try to use our gifts to make people happy, the harder our disabilities work to stand in the way. The easy solution: give up and be mediocre but not forced to constantly climb mountains.

Neither of us is inclined to taking the easy path, I guess.

So I suppose to go beyond "person" and turn into "superhero," the challenge is to use your gifts, work with and around your disabilities, and try to make the path a little easier for whoever comes after you, so that you don't end up atop the mountains alone.

Dad is a superhero.

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