Wednesday, January 28, 2009

falling from trees; the atheist bus drives closer to halifax

i interviewed john rogers yesterday. when john rogers was 22, he climbed a very big tree in antigonish county. he climbed it to shorten trees near power lines, so that they wouldn't fall on the lines and cause an outage. incidentally, he said nsp no longer does this, hence all the outages.

anyway, john climbed up 50 feet and was probably enjoying the sleep late summer morning. imagine the view from up there! trees and skies, trees and skies. john told me that the terrible thing that was about to happen to him was all his fault. an accidental casualness. he's not sure what went wrong, but it went wrong, and there went john, flying out of the tree like a flying squirrel, only without the skin to slow him down. he landed chest-first on the stump of a tree they had earlier cleared.

“I was draped across it like a wet flag, with blood coming out of my mouth,” he told me from his log cabin near new ross. his everything was broken. his coworkers ripped a door off a barn and carried him the two miles out of the woods, where paramedics carried him to the hospital. too late: he was a quadriplegic.

that was 1972: he's still a quadriplegic and seems content with life. one second he was an ordinary young man with an ordinary life before him, next he was in extreme pain and on his way to a life of struggle - first for himself, now for other disabled people.

i talked to him for an article in disability i'm doing for halifax mag.

someone once told me of such stories: they make me depressed. i didn't understand, but eventually did. we all get very sad sometimes, sometimes for no good reason. how can we defend our depression when we can shake it off by going for a jump? but still, we're very sad sometimes.

BREAKING NEWS: the atheist bus is coming to halifax! it started off in london, backed by richard dawkins. an acquaintance of mine who is involved in the halifax campain called to say that outside of ontario, haligonians gave the most to the drive. they want to follows dawkins's lead and put ads on metro transit buses saying something like, 'there's probably no god. now stop worrying and enjoy your life.'

it should be on hali streets later this year - the campaign's online headquarters is here.

1 comment:

  1. Cool that it's coming to Halifax... but unfortunately, it's not Halifax that needs to see it. But.. would those that need to consider such a message be swayed by a banner on a bus? The Lord needs to move in more mysterious ways.

    -The Grumpy Mennonite

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