When I was student teaching, I hung my Guy Fawkes mask on the board on the first day of the Fahrenheit 451 unit. It was recognised as both the Anonymous mask and the V for Vendetta mask – but no one knew who Guy Fawkes was. Allusions in Fahrenheit 451 make the text incredibly rich, so I had to explain the rhyme from the movie they’d seen but not understood. Even in the opening scene, there wasn’t enough context for them to understand Guy Fawkes was hung for treason because he was part of a plot to blow up Parliament. Sometimes my students don’t get my decade (or two) old pop culture references, but I will explain the important (read: Mean Girls) ones.

So many major historical figures sink into obscurity, and some get caricatured into a mask and repurposed into a symbol of internet hackers. Well, last night I had a couple people over to humour me while we watched the movie that made the mask famous – which leans heavily on the ideas of overthrowing governments. I’m the nerd who has watched V for Vendetta every November 5th for the past, like, fifteen years. Zero regrets.

The movie is far from a cinematic masterpiece, but there’re a lot of details I love, and it always makes me think about what battles I’m willing to fight. Obviously that whole teacher thing involves battles, but another battle I’m fighting daily is to take care of my body. This is my anonymous fight. No one will remember me in history because I broke my back and learned to walk again – but the fight says something about my character. I really struggle in the winter when my legs that can’t thermoregulate start to spasm more. I have to spend more time stretching and warming them up – and I have to prioritise walking when it’s not easy. It’s time consuming, and it’s not something that will be remembered, but I’m putting down a record now for those of you journeying alongside me to pray with me for good care of my legs this winter.

Of course a miraculous recovery could happen today – but right now, the reality I live in requires a lot more time to care for my body. Obviously, my first prayer is for the miracle, but my second and currently important prayer is for the time and attention to give my body in order to live well in the current state of ability that I have. I got to catch up with a friend yesterday who has a son who was born with a disability. We’ve talked a lot about identity and healing related to disability. I’m no less of a person because I can’t walk, but living in this reality puts me in difficult positions where people sometimes make me anonymous and my wheelchair the identity. As you pray for me to take care of my body, please also remember that there’s a whole person involved in dealing with the emotional and spiritual care of this body.

That said, I have physio tomorrow, and high hopes that this winter, despite the spasms and stress, will have space for continued growth and progress.

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