In this moment, Lula, from dot.innovations came over. ‘You lot look like a happy bunch. What did I miss?’
Shehani smiled. ‘Not much. But isn’t our lecture starting in fifteen minutes?’
Lula chuckled. ‘No rush. At your speed you won’t need more than two minutes to get to the conference room.’
‘True enough,’ Shehani said, turned her wheelchair and rolled towards the lobby.
A zoo made of old clothes, might be fun too, Shehani thought.
And then she chuckled. She was pretty sure that it was best to find a fun way to get all the plastic and synthetics out of circulation, out of the human habitat. But it probably took a company as unabashed as dot. to actually do it. Just like they had simply built her racing parkour, without making any fuss about it.
Maybe this was the reason, she still felt a little testy at times. dot. made everything look so easy, because they simply acted. She just wished others would do the same and stop wasting time with politics and ideologies and power battles and banging their chests.
And she felt this regret, this regret that no one had thought up something like that when she was a kid. What a life she could have had if people had focused on making things possible instead of insisting on excuses and instead of bullying each other for being different.
Shehani stopped, looking at the crowd of wonderfully others, who were sitting and standing in front of the conference room: the CP’s, the amputees, the wheels, the blinds, the deaf, those with autism and everyone else, laughing, chatting, creating.
Shehani took a deep breath. It was time to let the past be the past, and to fully enjoy what was happening. Maybe she should invent a little ritual, something to cut herself loose from the grievances of the past.
Well, not today. Today, she was to give a lecture on self-determination.
A town run by and for people with disabilities
When the idea for a town for disabled people came up, it had a bitter taste, and the crimes against disabled people over the centuries rushed into my mind.
But then, I thought, no. Only because this idea conjures up terrible images, doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. After all, it’s always easier to live with people who face the same questions.
So, still a little uncertain, I here present Plumburgh, a haven for anyone with disabilities, their relatives and their friends.
Why the graphic?
I had been playing with these shapes for a while and they reached a tenderness that struck me — this suggestion of a gentle kiss on the nose. And when I went looking for a graphic for Plumburgh, I thought, yes, that’s what I want for this town, something gentle and close, connected.
Why the name?
I searched for a name that combined things I like. I love Edinburgh. So the -burgh was in. And then I remembered a scene from book 2/2, travelling, a perfect moment — and it has plums in it.
For a while, Alice just sat there, watching the stream run around her feet. Then she took a plum, opened it and removed the stone with some misgivings. After all, you never knew whether some worms had already claimed the plum. But the plum’s flesh was unoccupied, and Alice pushed one half into her mouth. Sweet juicy delight. (…) This here, sitting by the stream, the water reflecting the morning light, her feet dabbling in the water, birds chirping, fresh plums, and the smell of summer — this was a moment worth living for.
book 2/2, travelling