Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Sex, love, disability
Ekiwah Adler-Beléndez, Mexican poet

Rony Schenker writes –
Ekiwah Adler is a poet, one of the founders of ConNosotros CE Association in Mexico, and has cerebral palsy. I met him among other very impressive young adults with cerebral palsy, children and families, in my recent visit to Mexico.
While searching for his Facebook page, I found this blog of his: LOVE ON WHEELS: SEX, LOVE, DISABILITY, which is recently not very active, yet, I thought it might be of importance to bring this voice of his to the conductive community worldwide.
I did not ask his permission, as it is his open invitation in the Facebook to visit his blog. It seems, as we know very well, that one of the reasons for a blog not to be very active is because few and rare feedback is received. In Ekiuah's own words –
I need more comments and feedback to keep this blog going. I won't be offended if I don't get them, but it is not worth while if they are just messages in a bottle in the middle of cyberspace:
One of his poems 


She pushed
my wheelchair
into the woods.
Before I could
tuck myself under
the heavy blanket
of a metaphysical subject —
a midsummer night descended
suddenly upon us
and we slipped
into bodies of moss and leaf,
braided by the thin strands of the rain.
Her hair,
a labyrinth of orange light,
her eyes alert like skittish mares
the turn of her voice
bright autumn.
I, with her in my arms...
became at once
a line of smoke
where sky meets sea
over the world's
curved blue lip
and one coherent piece
of cosmic clay
feeling wanted for the first time
not in spite of my body
but because of it
every one of my cells opening
into gardens of motion and silence.

Then like a smiling skull
cut out of tissue paper
and strung in a row of prayer flags
for the time when the dead
laugh with the living
our day floated through the night.

Ekiwah's blog is in English. This is how he ended the first posting, in May 2010 –
I think sexuality in relation to people in wheelchairs is a taboo topic that deserves to be addressed. How many well known books or movies can you think of that touch upon the subject? I will draw from personal experience and the experiences of friends both with and without a disability to start a conversation. I also welcome your questions, comments and stories on this issue.
Attracting hits
This posting on Conductive World will do relatively well in attracting hits, not from intrinsic value particularly but because it has the word 'sex' in it – deliberately. A few months ago Conductive World published a run-of- the-mill report on an in-service update meeting in Budapest, organised by Moira. The main presentation that day, by Judit Forrai, concerned sex education for disabled teenagers, and the Hungarian-language title of Conductive World's item on this included the word Szex in its title:

'Szex with a z' is enough to pull in punters from all over the world, and even two months later, barely a day passes without some soul somewhere visiting that posting.

Simple English-language 'Sex without a z' should pull even more! Let us hope that some of those who come will click the link to his blog:
Beyond that, I would also like to hope that some of those who do will take the trouble to offer a response or comment there. I would like to hope that.
Rony is quite right – believe me, I can vouch for it and I know that I am not the only one – it can indeed be disheartening, even demoralising, to blog without visible feedback or reply. So drop him a comment in a cyberbottle (on his blog), draw him into the conductive conversation, where frank articulate voices are very much needed.
Do visit his blog...

Ekiwah does not need to do this, he has received plenty of recognition for his work, see the words of his literary agent:

Here is a chance for the wide world of CE to influence somebody, and win a friend...
A reading

Here is one of several videos of Ekiwah on line, reading his poem 'Love song to my motorized wheelchair':

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Blogger Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

Thank you very much Andrew

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 at 14:33:00 GMT  
Blogger Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

I really can't understand my colleagues' muteness..
Can you really stay indifferent hearing and reading Ekiwah??? He is undoubtly a remarkble example of how one changes his disabilty by changing his state of mind (William James) through conductive education. We should appraise his and others efforts, courage, and determination. Theirs, their families and the professionals around them.Let them all hear your voices...they all earned it. Who can progress without feedback, without an aco???

Thursday, 6 December 2012 at 23:31:00 GMT  
Blogger Andrew Sutton said...

If by 'colleagues' you mean people in Conductive Education, I cannot understand it either. I used to think of it as stemming in part from the culture of fear to speak one's mind at the PAI, going back to the old State Institite and to the time of AP himself, and I am still sure that this was and perhaps still is a part of it. But it affects conductors trained elsewhere (can culture really transmit like an infection?) and it seems to affects families too. Like many others,

I have wondered whether this unwillingness to speak one's mind or be generous with one's knowledge of opinion is somehow 'Hungarian', but I have known so many Hungarians (including a few within CE) who have been so free and generous with what they know) and anyway non-Hungarians oftern evidence the same trait. I have wondered about contemporary, situational factors, such as fear of a possible effects of speaking out upon getting a new job or being able to employ a conductor in the future, or frighteng off potential funders. I have considered limited English (or German, or whatever), or limited education, or lack of confidence in the public arena, but such factors do not apply across the board, and need not close things down so completely where they do. They do not in other fields!

Whatever the cause, the CE sector can offer the public impression of being intellectually and emotionally and socially moribund, which is crazy because in many respects it (or rather the graat mass of those within it, for there is in fact no 'it') is quite the contrary. And yes, of course I know that the practice should be the defining reality, not its appearance from outside. But if I were an outsider, a potential funder or supporter for example, I might not be so keen to put resources or effort into something appearing so lacking in life. I might find other, apparently more lively,less stilted sectors, and take my interest elsewhere.

And yes, Rony, this deadening lack of feedback has, I know, already been a factor in extinguishing several attempts by individuals to establish their establish their personal 'voice' in Conductive Education, and we are all the poorer for this. Just look in the contraction in numbers of 'CE blogs'. I know that there must be other factors involved but I cannot think but that here is another example of CE's shooting itself in the foot.


PS By the way, what is an 'aco'?

Friday, 7 December 2012 at 07:53:00 GMT  
Blogger Rony Schenker, OTR, PhD, Tsad Kadima, Israel said...

1)by 'colleagues' I mean people in Conductive Education community around the world.
2)A spelling mistake - Echo and not eco

Friday, 7 December 2012 at 11:12:00 GMT  

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