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May 8, 2004
Audio for your column? Chet writes, and sends me something about putting a feature on the website that will enable people to hear the eMos. Without even looking, I know that it's beyond my understanding, so I forward it to Matt, who seems unsurprised. Yeah, we can do that, he writes back.

Cool -- you'll be able to hear the Farm.

I woke this morning to the most beautiful birdsong -- I am at a Jesuit monastery in Pennsylvania, not so far from the Farm, but I didn't place this song. I guess some birds are just virtuosi, and outdo themselves sometimes.

Not everybody can hear, of course. There are some who will never hear the song of a bird again. And who won't be opening the Geranium Farm's new audio page.

As there are some who cannot see to read. And will welcome the chance to hear instead.

There was a brief period in my life when I could not walk. I was offended at being unable to do something, unable to help myself get where I needed to go. At the powerlessness of it.

But quickly I realized that the inconveniences of that season in my life were just life -- all the time -- for many other people. I was temporarily disabled. Loads of people live that life from birth to death.

And you find ways to do the things you need to do, even if the preferred natural way is lost to you. You can talk on the phone even if youj're deaf, hear books even if you're blind, type on a computer even if you can't write. With the right equipment, you can stand, even if you're paraplegic. You can go out, using a wheel chair. People look at you with pity, or don't look at you at all. You know they're thinking that it's sad to be in a wheelchair. But who cares about them? You don't pity yourself -- if it weren't for the chair, you'd be trapped in your room every day.

So, with any luck, the eMos will go audio. If you have a blind friend, be sure to let him or her know.

And if you are not blind, not deaf, not paralyzed, not impaired in any way: enjoy your strength and power. There will come a time when you no longer have them. Then you'll have to be smart, and find other ways to be yourself.
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