The things we do for art! This morning I was dressing to get ready to go photograph a special event at the Detroit Senior's Center when I slipped off my scooter seat. Fortunately, this happens rarely. But this time I remembered what Mary Ellen Mark had said to me when I'd showed her a photo I'd taken of a floor's eye view of my bedroom. "If you want to show what it's like when you fall, you've got to have yourself in the frame." Happily I could just barely reach my camera's strap that was hanging out of my scooter basket. So I spent the next 20 minutes on an unplanned "floor shoot." I'd already written the following text to accompany it:
"So what does it feel like to exist in a world where you cannot walk, where you're always at risk of falling, where your hands can do few of the tasks expected of them? For me it means I see the world as a dangerous place, not in terms of threats from other people, but as a place where I can never be sure of myself, never count on my safety, never really relax. When I write that it surprises me, yet I know it's true. The photo I took of myself getting out of bed reflects that reality. It speaks of my anxiety about transferring safely from my bed into the seat of my scooter. It was that transfer that landed me on the floor at 3 a.m. one June morning and necessitated my calling 911 for help getting up. Dressing is another risky endeavor. It's all too easy to slip off the seat of my scooter. Getting up by myself can take close to an hour. My view of the world from the floor is not one I care to repeat. But I know I will."