She’s Been Disabled Her Whole Life. You Can Save Your Pity

By Nick Hilden: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Pulitzer finalist Chloe Cooper Jones wants you to see the value and beauty in a disabled life. Especially the beauty.

A few years back I suffered a silly accident that had decidedly unsilly consequences in the form of a severely broken ankle. After it happened, rather than waiting some wise duration to properly heal, I skittered off on yet another bout of travel (apparently you can get itchy feet even if one of those feet is dangling at the end of a trimalleolar fracture) and limped with a too-heavy backpack to Bangkok. Once there I could barely get around the place, for with each step my ankle rattled and shifted like a sack of marbles. My travels have been strained by chronic pain ever since, and they probably always will be.

I related this story to philosophy professor, journalist, and Pulitzer-finalist Chloe Cooper Jones, whose recently released memoir Easy Beauty chronicles her lifetime of disabled travel, and I asked where she finds the wherewithal to push through the pain and hardship.

“I’ve never lived a life without this level of discomfort or pain,” she explained. “I was born with this disability and I was born into this body. For some people this is not the case. There’s a before and after, right? There’s your ankle before you broke it, and then the after, and the after feels worse and it makes things feel harder. But for me, I’ve always been managing this pain. That’s normal to me as maybe hunger is for you.”

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