14 3 / 2012
Anonymous asked: what's with the "invalids" thing?
This is a super good question, because “invalids” is a super problematic word!
My first zine was called “Little Gardens for Invalids”. It was named after an article in an old, old encyclopedia called The Book of Knowledge that my friend found on the side of the road.
The article was written by a woman who had spent her entire life as an “invalid”. At the time of publication, it was clearly still an acceptable term to use. The woman never specified what her particular ailment was, just that she was housebound. She wrote about how as a child she longed to play in the gardens with other children, but was never afforded the opportunity as she could not leave her room. The purpose of the article was to teach “invalid” children (like she had been) how to grow and tend “little gardens” in their bedrooms so that they could have a sense of what it was like to play outside. The article was written in a very sweet, compassionate tone - the tone of someone who very sincerely wanted to make things better for kids who felt the same loneliness and exclusion that she had felt.
It really touched me as someone who suffers from both mental illness and chronic physical illness that disables me from working a “real job” and affects my day-to-day activity.
By the way, I’ve since tried to track down this book, but to no avail. If anyone ever sees it, please please please let me know.