Mobilize March -- Travel Blog

Day 07 — And on the 7th day, there was rest

Wow. I can’t believe this is the end of week one–it feels like it’s been a lot longer. To commemorate the week, I’ve sliced together a 10-minute clip of what we’ve been up to; however, the Internet here is pitiful and I can’t get it online yet. Never to fear, tomorrow we’re going to find a cyber cafe with some solid intertubes to upload from…so alas, you will have to wait another day. Tragic…I know.

As a result, this post is going to be horrendously uninteresting. Today was completely uneventful, involving naps, subway sandwiches, and about 5 hours of video editing (iMovie HD 6.0 and I are no longer friends). We’ve got a busy day tomorrow involving some good ol’ fashion door-to-door campaigning downtown. Wish us luck, we’re certainly going to need it!

I feel that because this is the last post of the week I should at least write a little something to encapsulate my time thus far. To be honest, I’m craving the road. On Monday, I was loathing the long trip ahead of me, so much so I barely slept a wink several days before leaving because my stomach ulcer was bubbling over with tension. I had a deep knot of regret and fear in the pit of my stomach…an unspeakable turmoil of self doubt and fear of what may go wrong. There were so many unknowns about this trip–how would it work on the road? Would I be safe? Would the chair last? Would I last? What if I get sick? While I don’t have a concrete answer for any of those questions right now, I’m coming to terms with the reality that there are no definitive answers and ultimately, I am definitely growing to enjoy my time out on the open road. There is something transcendental about being out there alone: just me, the chair, and the poignant pageantry of rural Ontario unfolding before my eyes. I don’t mean to wax faux-poetically here, and to be honest some of the visuals I’ve witnessed so far are prettier than my mediocre grasp of the English language could ever do justice, but over the short 7 days I can already feel this trip changing me in significant and profound ways. Now, 7 days later, all my fears and doubts have been replaced by a craving for more–I’m ready to do more, to take on greater challenges and conquer further distances. Before this trip began, the obstacle of accessible transportation seemed like an insurmountable mountain–an Everest of Strife–but now, a mere week in, the problem seems like little more than a fleck of dust on the brim of my increasingly worn March baseball cap…desperate to be brushed aside and forgotten forever. I truly feel like I am turning another massive page in the story that is my life and while I cannot say how the story will read when I pop out at the top of the province, I can certainly say that by the end of this trip we will not just be turning the page on inaccessible transportation in the story of Ontario, but we will be closing off an entire chapter of our existence, one so vile and undignified that we will have no idea why it took so long to close in the first place.

I don’t mean to sound negative or pluck on the shame-chords of your collective hearts: rather, I believe that we are truly moving in a profoundly positive direction and this is something we should all take pride in. The quest for an accessible Ontario had it’s first real victory shortly after the birth of the new millennium–now in the summer of 2008, we have the opportunity, duty, and ability to give birth to the next major milestone in the fight for emancipation. Now all we have to do is turn the page.

Tomorrow, more news, less blab, AND our first video blog–-I promise…probably.

– Jeff

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.