Sunday, April 16, 2006

Back to the Beginning

Looking back, I see I started at the Fossil Farm. My first overnight dig, last year, was right after Walter opened my blog for me.

And I just got back from there, once again.

It started as an experiment in re-entering the rest of society. I've been isolated from others for so long, I wasn't sure I could do this. I was never very good at things like the social graces, and what little progress I'd made had disappeared after fifteen years of living the half-bubble life the fates had handed me.

But in the end, it was all right, after all.

It certainly helped that I love fossils and love to dig in dirt, and was surrounded by a small group of like-minded people and the great natural beauty of the Fossil Farm. Those people were what made the difference. Without them, the rest of it wouldn't have mattered.

Long ago, I hung around with a bunch of deaf people. There's an expression in ASL about mainstreaming, a sign language phrase called "out in the world." They talk about the deafie leaving the deaf school, looking for work, going out in the world. Mainstreaming.

So I guess that's what I did. In the small and limited way that I can, I did a bit of mainstreaming.

It felt good.

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