Joe Logue has written this blog about he and his good friend Emma Muldoon.
Always forwards, never back. A useful mantra for some, but not for me.
There is a constant pressure in society, to change, to grow, to evolve. So much so that many of us look back on the past with regret, frustration and disappointment. I prefer to look on these experiences as lessons.
For many of us with muscle-wasting conditions, forwards is frightening. It’s another milestone on our journey of loss, where we leave behind parts of ourselves, finding our abilities reduced. Looking back over such changes can be hurtful, but at the same time valuable.
This is what drew Emma Muldoon and I to take part in the Reflections in Colour campaign – a project very much based on introspection. We projected meaning onto these images, looking until we saw ourselves faintly mirrored in the glass of the photo frame. We reflected.
We visited our past experiences, both glorious and heart breaking. Allowed our minds to travel down long covered paths and revealed our innermost selves, and for some of us, we uncovered the parts of society from which we often feel excluded.
A society where our inclusion is often an inconvenience or a PR stunt, detailing inaccessible locations and seemingly inaccessible lives.
I recounted my experience of mental ill health, the importance of leaving a colourful mark on the world and how a boy with Becker muscular dystrophy believed love would evade him, only to be proven wonderfully wrong.
Whilst my close friend Emma, who has Limb girdle muscular dystrophy, used a metaphor soaked paintbrush to depict aquamarine waves as both beautiful and damning, eroding rocks in the same manner as these conditions wear down our bodies.
As bleak and existential as this may seem, it’s illuminating all the same. It allows us to cherish our experiences, value the journey we’ve taken and in all makes us fuller human beings.
We urge you; look back, reflect, mourn and love. No matter the challenges we face living with a disability, our lives are worthwhile.
Find out more about Emma:
- SimplyEmma’s website
- Emma’s Reflections in Colour piece
- SimplyEmma Facebook page
- SimplyEmma Instagram