carpenter sentayehu teshale re-envisions ‘disability’

(Video link here.) This morning we received an email from a reader with a Vimeo link and these few intriguing words:

This man is the epitome of the improvised life daily and he has achieved this with a grace that makes me rethink my own daily life.

So we watched and were knocked out, and felt the same way.

Ethiopia-born Sentayehu Teshale is so natural in his moves that we hardly knew he’s handicapped; in fact, he seems to reject the very idea of disability, redefining his feet as his hands. Listening to his words, we thought “This is the thinking of a true creative.”

First I imagine something, then I store it in my mind and wherever I go I see it. It may take a long time to make it but because it stays in my mind, I’ll eventually make it. 

Teshale envisioned a completely different life for himself than his circumstances seemed to dictate  —he was told he should be a beggar  — and then created it, along with many beloved objects.

Related posts: howard rheingold: on becoming (“life…forks every day, in every moment”)
‘nothing is impossible’ defies ‘disability’
the scar project
‘what’s not wrong?’ and other ways to start your day
design as resourcefulness and self-reliance

5 Responses to carpenter sentayehu teshale re-envisions ‘disability’

  1. sahana martin 03.21.2012 at 5:26pm #

    I feel we are all dis-abled or en-abled in some ways. What strikes me is that a person with disabilities often has to put so much energy into daily routine -and then some go even further than many who are not as challenged.
    There are still people who do not have that energy and , out of personal experience, i would like to remind also of those with so-called ‘invisible disabilities’ who often do not get a round of applause for their efforts to take part in daily life.

    Anyway, “envisioned a completely different life for himself than his circumstances seemed to dictate” – almost sounds like the definition of creativity to me. Encouraging,

    Key sentence: “When I work I’m fully focused.”

    Love,
    sahana

  2. Sally 03.22.2012 at 9:43am #

    Hi Sahana, Thank you for your comment. Yes, I agree with you that there are many with “invisible disabilities” – lack of energy, depression, add- all sorts of things that are not seen and therefore not taken into account by others – intrepid and valiant despite not being “seen”. MANY people. Important to remember.

  3. sahana 03.23.2012 at 7:51pm #

    Hi Sally, yes and there are hearing impairments, organic diseases and autism, to name a few more, that are often not instantly visible. Yet they can cause severe problems to cope with daily life.

    I am happy for everyone who finds their way to express themselves . A video like that in your post offers a different perspective on disability (as he clearly enabled himself) and on things that we may take for granted .

    Thinking of people in my life whose silent power is so inspiring:

    “You never know who you’re talking to
    You never know who you’re walking to ..
    The superhero of today
    Works quietly away
    They like it like that”
    (jane siberry )

    Have a lovely week-end ,
    sahana

  4. Elaine Elmer 03.23.2012 at 9:20pm #

    THIS IS WONDERFUL. MORE POSITIVE TO ENCOURAGE EVERYWHERE. !

    SHOULD BE SPREAD ANYWHERE POSSIBLE AND TITLED “SEE WHAT POSITIVES CAN DO OVER TOUGH NEGATIVES ! WHAT’S THE EXCUSE FOR THE REST OF US,
    WHO CHOOSE NEGATIVES ?”

  5. Tracy Metro 03.25.2012 at 9:17pm #

    Wow.

    I’d like to buy one of his chairs to remember this incredibly resilient man!

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