Saturday, November 29, 2008

Helen Keller and The Miracle Worker

Today my husband, daughter, and I saw the play "The Miracle Worker." It was about the time from Anne Sullivan's arrival as Helen's teacher, to the time at which Helen understood the meaning of words.

Watching the story unfold, and knowing how accomplished Helen Keller became, it was surprising to see the early struggles, how "Annie" took Helen next door to live so she could isolate her, break through some of Helen's stubbornness, and make progress. Then after a time they returned home and Helen immediately began to regress. But also, right after that, the breakthrough came, she understood the meaning of words--Annie had connected with Helen as a person.

Just looking at the general world, there is a time when things "click" for people--like when a child learns to ride a bike, or even learns to walk. For a person with a disability, it can be different. So as the play ended with Helen "getting it," I was brought to tears. I thought of times, with MS, when I still can learn and "get" things. I thought of skiing, when things were not clicking and then started clicking. I thought a bit of handcycling and how it started to click. And for these activities, there are still barriers to getting further, but things can still click. It's beautiful really, how disability can be "turned on its head." Just beautiful.

Thanks be to God for the beauty of it all.

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