‘ sunrise on a cold Autumn morning’
The 50’s were. . .as they were; coming out the other side of a world war and a depression. . .creating a new frontier. The media portrayed the ‘Perfect’ scene, all was well on the home front. The ‘Stepford Wives’ comes to mind. . .but in reality it was far removed from what was really going on. Wounded men back from the war. . . .Post Traumatic Stress wasn’t recognised then. . .in some families life was a hell of a lot less than perfect.
A lot of men signed up. . . .and they were only kids; boys being boys. . .off for an adventure, be brave and save your country. No one could have foreseen the damage that would be wreaked on communities. Many returned servicemen needing a lot of help, but a lot of them just turned to grog. Domestic violence was hidden but there. . .these men weren’t coping. . .and it was very obvious. Sure, not all would have fallen into this hole. . . .but there were a lot. . .and it was never spoken of. Just ask any Vet what is was like in a war. . how they felt, how they struggled when they returned.
The 50’s were an ‘interesting’ time. . .for many reasons.
The last Polio epidemic hit Australia in 1951. . . a few years before the vaccination. putting all these elements together in a community. . .a lot of different energy is generated. I guess the choice was to create a fantasy life. . .bit like how we do now with the internet. Humans like to create they do. . .just sometimes this energy is used in the wrong way. So what’s wrong with ‘creating’ a new image for all to follow. . .. well fantasy and reality often don’t meet in the middle.
Money was scarce, men back from the war. . .focus on beginning a new life. . .of abundance and growth, well I guess it gave people some hope or something to work towards.
But everything needs to begin with ‘me’, who I am, what I want. . . .you can’t take the outside image and paste it on yourself. . . .needs to be real, needs support.
So having Polio in the 50’s was full of many things. . .how did it happen and what was our response.
I read an article of the epidemic in the U.S. . . . .they spoke about the fear being at epidemic levels. . .people would cross the road to avoid a family whose child had been ‘struck down’ with the virus, people would no longer visit. But strangely the thing most people feared, was not dying but being disabled. . . .now that’s very telling of the time. . . .the fear of not being ‘NORMAL’.
I’ve read stories of other people who succumbed to the Virus. . .now I think of myself as an individual, not an ‘average’ person. . .but reading these stories was like reading my own. . .it gave me goosebumps. . .and I wondered, how is this possible. . .that our experiences were the same. The word ‘NORMAL’ comes up a lot in these stories, people relate of their journey with Polio. . .and it’s a word I have used often. . . . and still do at times. . .a bit less now.
In the decade of ‘NORMAL’. . .down to the “T”. . . .here are all these little children. . .with deformed bodies. . .society in general found this very difficult to accept. They thought all the bad stuff had gone away, here was a new time when everything was perfect. . . .look at the pictures, smiling faces, lovely cotton sun dress, a freshly ironed apron. . .hair that’s been coutured, full make-up applied. . .the perfect housewife. . . .doing all her chores. Perfect children, so neat and clean. . .spotless houses. . .all in order. Except when the door was closed. . .and the demons began haunting. . . .nightmares from the war often came visiting.
So when you take in the whole picture. . .yes there are stories to tell. . .it’s all an evolution. . .learning how to be real. And all that happens in our life. . .is really a blessing. . .we get to learn, we get to experience. . . . . .the human condition. And we get to pursue. . .. HEALING.
bucketloads of love