The story of a friendship, profoundly shaped by and through bodies and embodied experience. Meet Dan Harvey and Drew Nelles, friends through awkward childhoods, into teenage resentments, and then, through the accident that crushed one of Harvey’s vertebrae, and beyond.
I HAVE LEARNED things from Dan: how to sit quietly beside a person who needs my presence, how to operate a lift and strap a wheelchair into a van. But I am resistant to the idea, occasionally suggested, that disabled people are here to teach us something about the value of human existence, that the rest of us should treasure what we have, for it might be taken from us tomorrow. The lives of disabled people have intrinsic importance, independent of whatever they might offer the able bodied. When accidents like Dan’s occur, our first instinct is to scour them for meaning, but there is no cosmic truth here. There is only the random lightning strike, the explosion of a dying planet—only suffering and our capacity to overcome it.
You can read the rest of this article, in The Walrus, here.