Amber's Writings


Here is a spontaneous writing I later called Meaning, written when I was missing two of my best friends from Portland. Written down on November 11, 2012

Maybe today is the day that I will figure out why I am here now.

I used to know.

It was to get better and dance in the sun with someone I loved.

Now I am better, but it's like I'm watching everyone else do the dancing., Living, breathing, being

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Right now, the things I wish for most are the things I never had.

Walking, running,

feeling the sun caress my skin the skin over my whole body, not just arms and legs.

The skin over my whole body meshed into the skin of yours. Nothing between. No cloth, metal, or plastic.

I really wish for the craziness to pass the pain to go

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Toward the Sun

I am walking through a forest toward a mountain. Walking, not rolling. Wearing no cloth on my skin. But I do not feel scared from these changes. It is normal here, the way it is supposed to be. Leaves crunch under my feet, and I know I'm moving toward a goal but I have no idea where I am or how I got there. I just know that I'm supposed to be walking.

If there is beauty around me, I'm not really conscious of it. I…

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Desert Journey

Here's one that doesn't rhyme that probably will make sense. Just thoughts waiting for the sun to break free.

Waiting. That's the game now. But actively, with power tools like a shiny new pair, straps, and sarongs.

But I never knew I could ache so much. It fills my whole being; mind, and soul, and body.

Because I have a body that matters now. Beautiful. Powerful. Enough.

It still amazes me. I hope it always will.

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Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising

If you look at me and see a diminutive female struggling in her chair to get across the street before her battery dies;

Frumpy in her too big coat and her too small shirt with her "too big" breasts and "no neck," you're missing the whole point.

You'd have to take a deeper look, which most people have no time for; cocooned in their private media bubble as they rush past.

Well, not all of them. To be fair, some of them stop to…

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Requiem For Lost Dreams

This was written in response to a thought-provoking question from a friend. Basically it was what have you had to give up because of your disability? I don't think some of these quite fit, but this is what came out. And it will probably be added to.

No one has asked me this question before. It's kind of scary, but here goes.

I guess the first one would be when I was four years old. I decided that I'd had enough of the disability which, even…

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Thoughts on Contact Dancing

Written on February 18, 2005

Something really amazing happened to me last night. Sometimes, on Thursday evenings, I go to a dance class (I am a part of DanceAbility,) that is less structured and smaller then my Friday evening performance-based class. Usually, the classes work on similar themes, but this time was different.

I was introduced to the wonderful world of contact improvisational dancing.

I am going to try to describe it a little here, but I will probably not do it justice. I can only…

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Apology from a Phoenix

Note: what follows is a response I wrote to a blog comment a few months ago. I'm posting it here with the other person's knowledge and permission to tell a story of survival, and to hopefully give others strength and encouragement.:

Thank you for your forgiveness.

Please read this. I'm not going to sit here and now like nine years later blame it all on my parents. I know I could've handled things differently, but I didn't know how back then.

What happened was that my…

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I am sorry that I'm just a little too much. I am angry that I will never be enough.

You twisted a knife into my soul. The rain is blood. Was that your goal?

You spat in my face to mock the rain and now expect me to smile through the pain, to give you strength to walk away. Well, I'm not doing that today.

You could never see this through because of the one thing I can't change. And I should never rearrange myself for…

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The Case of the Stone Heads

Actually, on that day my game was Solitaire. I was just starting round ten. It was a sunny Saturday in mid-July. I'd finished my chores hours before, and was now on the front porch alone with a deck of cards, wishing SOMETHING exciting would happen.

Ever heard the saying, "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it."? Well, what happened next is proof that there's some truth to it. The phone rang.

I ran inside to answer it, because my Dad was…

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On the Move

I was born in Japan. About three months later, my parents and I moved to Colorado. There, my two younger sisters made their appearances.

Seldom do I let my physical disability (quadriplegic spastic CP) interfere with my perpetual goal of being on the move. In Colorado, after I somewhat mastered the art of rolling, I discovered that this was a relatively fast and efficient mode of travel for my little body.

One day, a red and white infant walker was brought home. I was excited when…

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How to make your own Pearl

Okay, I admit that oysters are an aquired taste. But everyone knows about a little jewel called a pearl. Now, it's possible for people to make "cultured" pearls, but, not so long ago, they could only be found by looking inside the shell of an oyster.

These creatures don't know they're making a jewel, though. They are only making themselves more comfortable. A life spent crawling around sandy areas might seem satin-smooth to you, but it isn't! A lot of sand gets swallowed, and oysters aren't…

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First Dance

I danced today. For the first time, I really danced. Alone in my room, in my house, in my nameless gloom, I felt my spirit rouse. I want to DANCE! Strapped in this chair? How? Where? The thought wouldn't let me go. So, I popped in the Newsboys and started out slow. Back and forth. Side to side. How slow and silly this feels! (It's much easier to keep a beat using feet than if you're using wheels.) "Shine!" Tomorrow, Lord. Just let me have one…

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An Essay on Civil Disobedience

Obligation to Obey the Law: How Far Does it Go?

From early childhood, we are taught to distinguish between right and wrong. Our parents made rules for us to follow, in order to protect us from harm. Our country makes rules, called laws, with the intention of protecting its people and preserving peace. Sometimes, a person, or group of people, feels that a law does neither of these things. Are they obligated to obey the law, even if that law seems wrong or unfair to them?

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A Very Strange Birthday Gift

When you finish reading this, you probably will think that this is the best tall tale you've ever seen. I, Dan Joyner, tell you that it really happened....

For my tenth birthday, my Aunt Maude gave me a brightly wrapped gift. I opened it eagerly and found....a rubber duckie. I mustered a "Thank you!", and quickly returned the duck to its box.

Later I whined to my parents, "Ten-year old boys don't play with rubber duckies!" But I didn't have much to complain about. I was…

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A Guide to Hugging the Disabled

The Hugger's Guide: Hugs and Their Origins

The Poster Child hug: first observed by me as Colorado's Easter Seal Poster Child, at age three, continues today. Usually given by a perfect stranger and accompanied by the phrase, "Oh, you're SO brave! I admire you very much." or such like. Usually given as if the person is afraid to catch whatever the receiver has.

The Exit hug: named so because its most frequent occurrence is after Church, as the pastoral greeting line passes my parking spot. Sweet…

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A Day to Remember

"Severiah!" Her Mama called from inside the hut which her Papa built for them. He was a fisherman before they moved farther away from the Sea. Now, he was gone. He did small work for anyone who asked him to repair things, and often was not at home.

"Daughter!" Severiah turned and ran inside. "Daydreaming again? Well, you are nine summers old now. It's time you learned more about the real world. Please go to the town market, and buy a sack of flour, and as…

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A Heart Cries

How am I supposed to pray when I'm not sure You're there? How am I supposed to talk to You when my mind of words is bare?

Am I to understand when Your voice I cannot hear? I'm blind to the path; I can't see past the tears.

Here I am, a used up tube of toothpaste; folded, crumpled, and twisted beyond recognition, something people throw away. Do You care?

All I ever wanted to do was give; have the freedom to live for You.


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Beautiful Bewilderment

Always, in my solitude, you are there. Your magic eyes unaware of the power they hold over me. In my head, they are like lasers; warm building lights that also cut, sometimes simultaneously, confusingly.

I wonder if you see how I search your eyes for the light that fills my own whenever you are near me. How I beam with your joy, cry with your sorrow, and tremble at your anger.

Your awesome power scares me almost as much as the strength of my love for…

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For Amy

What words do I give you? Parting words for the year, blessing words for your journey, for your life.

Seems weaving words is my craft, like yours, only now I don't know which words to weave together, which ones you'll hear and believe and keep.

I could say I love you. Which is very true. But how is that different from all of the others in the room we shared once a week, all those who longed for a shining piece of you to light them…

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Thoughts Between the Years

Sitting here between the years touching the hand of a beauty I can't quite reach

Watching like I always do feeling as usual

So many words and feelings in my heart afraid to leave my mouth. Maybe they will feel free to escape my cursor.

I don't know.

Extracting abscessd emotions like teeth:

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Deep Peace

Dear Joe,

Now begins the scary process of writing something to you which wanted to be written last night, with the peace lullaby we created in the amphitheater still in my head. But I couldn't write last night from bed, so I had to believe that the thoughts would stay with me until now. Mostly they have, but I don't know if I will be quite brave enough to write them as strong as I felt them in that moment. So I'm not sure what will…

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A Response to Pity

Daily, more like moment by moment, I choose not to feel sorry for myself. To my rational thinking self, that's always seemed like a waste of time and what little energy I have most days. (I mean internal energy). But people have said it so often lately that I am beginning to feel like there must be something about me that I am missing. And so, I actually made myself sit in front of my bathroom mirror a few minutes ago, trying to figure it out.…

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