Post Oparalympiad / 10 September 2012
Digital friends, electronic social life, podcast entertainment, filmed performance: all good, but no substitute for the real live thing.
Not living in London, access (including financial access) to the phenomenon known simply as 2012, was problematic. Knowing no local people with any real interest in experiencing the Cultural Olympiad, I actually felt far more isolated than involved.
I was at the mercy of the media, and misleading statements like The Best Disability Arts practitioners are at the Southbank. Arguably some of the best were; some of the best were not, I found it important to remind myself as I struggled to negotiate the London Trap.
I had friends who were doing the Oparalympics, and it was interesting to observe how they reacted to all the media hype about the New Attitude to disability and disabled people.
I'm planning to make a record during the coming months, of the progress of my personal legacy from the Oparalympiad, and since I won't be taking up any new sports, we are talking cultural legacy here and my expectations have been raised.
To ensure fair measurement I am working on a lympiometer.
Areas to be measured include inspiration, motivation, productivity, heritage happiness and sense of integration.
Keen to get some numbers into the lympiometer as soon as possible, I actually started before the Oparalympiad was over:
Inspiration? Emotional Oparalympiad exhaustion was draining any personal hopes of inspiration, so not much to record here. I'm working hard at maintaining the sparks already lit, and currently relying heavily on the Blue Peter strategy.
Motivation? Mmmh. Another zero score. The overwhelming (tantalising and mostly out of reach), offer of so unbelievably much packed into such a short period of time, seemed to function more as a deterrent. I'm having to exert a lot of pressure on myself to battle doubts and keep going.
Productivity? Ooops a minus score here. I am still working, but slowing. Things are bound to improve if I can just hang on in there.
Heritage happiness? Too soon to tell. I'm feeling very mixed up right now. I feel a bit like my artist has creative indigestion; nothing serious, just an uncomfortable lack of happiness and reasons to persevere.
Integration? A section of the population is more aware and more openly curious.
The blanket shade of pity has nuances; the Lexi-effect has people speculating on my capabilities, none of this feels very inclusive - yet.
Disability? How do I feel about being disabled? Confused, inadequate, defensive - all those supercrips are kind of overwhelming.
Do I have expectation of improvement? Yes definitely! My 2012 Day needs time to sink in, and that New Attitude is surely going to have a positive effect on paralife
Keywords: cultural olympiad,everyday experience,legacy,paralympics