A Confession of a CCDC Writer --By Rolf Kotar
Years ago and decades of constant effort on my personal growth, I created a special greeting card for Christmas for my friends and family. The card featured a powerful quote. Printed on forest green colored paper it exclaimed “Happy Holidays” on the front. Upon opening, my card offered, “We become what we love.” The card actually kicked off many additional years of work. After showing it to a Catholic Sister who managed a drop-in center for us people with mental disabilities, I found that I’d succeeded in making a big impact on my readers. At this period in my life I was dreaming a lot about who and what I wished to include in my life as I incorporated qualities into myself of the people I idolized. I made small accomplishments from little wishes, and then these I made into part of my self. This story is a common one in the community of people with disabilities. We focus in somewhat of a narrow manner and “climb a ladder.” The positive energy within each of us can be the mortar and pestle of our consciousness, fabricating our individual personhood. As an example, from early childhood, I wished to be an employed writer and musician. I wanted to be a rabbi who writes. I wanted to be a lawyer who writes. Finally, I wanted to be a licensed social worker who writes. I perpetually looked for an umbrella with which to cover all of my thoughts as a single discipline – but never to be simply a writer and musician.
Now, it’s 22 years later, and I’m a self-employed contractor for the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition (CCDC). The essays (blogs) involved something like magazine journalism and creative nonfiction. I’m separately working on community foundation grant proposals for an environmental activist. My main music interests are classical, pre-classical and medieval on six string nylon guitar and alto recorder. I am a studio musician, bypassing performance anxiety. One might think my life to be ideal. I have been diagnosed with a major mental disability, a significant anxiety disorder, Parkinsonism, severe glaucoma and uncontrolled diabetes.
Working for CCDC has been an ideal location because it truly is a caring – centered place to work. I love civil rights issue based work for the people of Colorado. My work as a writer is very enjoyable and fulfilling. I work completely independently. Of course, the music portion of my life is a perfect fit. I’d like to propose an unusual idea. I love my occupations and I feel I share something special in working for CCDC people. Working at CCDC is about what I’m creating rather than how much money I’m being paid to produce the work. I am surrounded by fabulous individuals with the Executive Director as number one. Even my body works better because I deal mostly with CCDC. Sam Keen, in his book, “To a Dancing God,” says, “You’re really in trouble if your heart stops loving your liver” as they must work in harmony for one to be alive. Then, love is simply the energy that ties we humans together, making us happy, productive and with fulfilling lives. I find it so much easier to give to others as a contractor of CCDC’s. It’s simply a feeling of possessing enormous abundance. I am very happy with my life. Someone once said, “When we humans have discovered a way to harness the power in love, we will have discovered fire for the second time.” A love-motivated life seems to be the only one to possess!
If you, my reader, are interested in traveling along a path with heart, perhaps you’d like to join our ranks at CCDC. We offer training, with an opportunity for certification upon completion, as advocates several times per year. The class sequence is free to those who agree to volunteer for CCDC after being certified. You may choose to advocate for an individual, or go to meetings of the Colorado State Legislature and do “volunteer lobbying." Whatever your tastes, please begin. Your fulfillment could be waiting for you just around the corner.