Heading out soon to sign books at the California Reading Association conference, but before I go, some gems to share:
I love Huck so much, I want to just hug anyone else who loves him too. Specifically, I love that other people appreciate Huck, are fond of him, are proud of him – part of the human experience of love. Everyone who reads Huckleberry Finn, and feels like I do about the boy, has know the same love I have felt, and that connects us on a profound level.
In a way, it’s a story about empathy or lack of empathy. The idea with the rabbit was capturing indifference. The characters’ expressions barely change with just some movement of their eyes. If the rabbit is too characterised, then he becomes too cute. If he shows no reaction, then it’s okay to want consequences for him. When you’re a kid and you’re being picked on, this is the big question: what do you do when you actually find the person who’s done something wrong to you and they’re indifferent? Amoral. They’re blank. The bear can’t talk to the rabbit and can’t reason with him. So the only thing he can think of doing is to eat him. I’m not endorsing it but it’s what you can feel like doing!
Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon—add your recs in the Mr. Linky.
Residual limbs often change in volume. Heat, humidity, weight loss, weight gain…. There are many reasons a socket on a prosthetic leg might not fit correctly. When I take long car rides it’s not uncommon for me to take my leg off and throw it in the back seat. It gets too tight when I sit for too long.
When I walk a lot, ride my bike, or am generally very active, my residual limb shrinks. If I’m extra good about watching what I eat and drop a few pounds, my leg shrinks. I’ve even noticed that when I’m sick for more than a day or two, my leg will temporarily shrink.
To those of us in developed countries, the answers are easier. If I have a volume change in my leg (like losing weight and keeping it off…. I’ve heard rumors that can happen) I can just schedule a five-minute visit to my prosthetist. With a few socket adjustments, I’m once again comfortable. For a Haitian farmer, it’s not so easy. Once his limb changes shape or volume, he’s out of luck. If he needs adjustments, there is no local prosthetist to tweak his fit. He’s left living with a leg that isn’t comfortable and eventually unusable. Joe couldn’t stop thinking about the Haitian amputees he’d left behind and wondering how he could help them have a better quality of life.
A few years later Joe found himself on the ski chair lift, taking a call from a patient as he took in the mountain views. His patient desperately needed one of those five-minute adjustments before she left town later that day. But for that to happen Joe would have to cut short his ski date on a blue bird powder day and drive all the way back down the mountain, just for a five-minute tweak. Once again, this time for more selfish reasons, he wished his amputee patients could adjust their own leg sockets.
And then he got an idea…
Links for January 2, 2009
Oh, bees, I didn’t think I could love you more than I already do.