It Is What It Is

 

I don't want to stray into inspiration porn here, but there's something I find very striking about this painting. Andrew Wyeth used a real person, his neighbor in Maine, as his inspiration. We don't know for certain what her disability is, but it's clear that her mobility is severely limited. Apparently, she refused to use any kind of mobility aid for whatever reason, and at the time the painting was done, in 1948, I have a feeling that her options were limited to ones that didn't really do much to help her navigate her world. I can't figure out how she would have been able to get out of her house, much less go outside and do anything.

The technology is much further advanced in today's world, but so are the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing the world in which they live. I relate to Christina as a sister who knows my frustrations, but refuses to let the world defeat her. She refuses to allow her limitations to confine her to four walls.

In one sense, this painting is haunting and heartbreaking. In another, though, it could be considered inspirational. Christina is in the world, not isolated from it, even if her way of managing her environment is unorthodox. "It is what it is, and let's just get on with life." That's the message I take from her.

It is what it is, so let's just get on with life.

 

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