Contributing opinion writer

Ben T. Elwy

Ben T. Elwy ’23 lives in Quincy House. His column “Living a Disabled Life” appears on alternate Tuesdays.

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The Edge of Dawn

And so dawn comes, and the days pass. And in their light, I want to choose to look ahead and to see my own smile on my own face. It’s a smile that says, “Through the good and the bad, I’ll always be there for myself, whoever I was, am, and will be.”

Again, Because You Were There

The least we can do is send them off with a smile, once we’re ready. A smile that says, “We aren’t together anymore, but I see a new world worth living for, and I’ll take you there; and I became a person who could say that, because you were there.”

Surely Someday

“Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit,” Aeneas says to the surviving Trojans as they take shelter in an inlet on the coast of Libya, far away from their home sacked by the Greeks, their fleet wrecked by a divine storm: “Perhaps one day it will help us to remember this too.”

One More Day

I’m drafting this piece on my phone as I lie in bed, straining to see against the rising sun’s glare. This place has amazing strawberry pancake wraps, but still, a stay in a psych ward is not the vacation I was hoping for.

A Moment of Eternity

I didn’t choose to be disabled, to be mentally ill, to be queer, to want time to stop. But that’s how I am, and I’d like to be proud of that. So at this moment, I want to understand how to move on from uncertainty, regret, and pain, within the limits of this world; how we define and accept ourselves through the smiles we choose.

Dream a New Dream for Tomorrow

If my writing has made you imagine anything you’ve never imagined before — made you question yourself and your world, made you uneasy, made you uncomfortable — don’t push that away. Think about it, talk about it, bring it with you on your own path; live it, remember it. Those are dreams.

Broken Mirror, A Million Shades of Light

Living a disabled life means that I fall, and as I lie stunned, I see my reality of existing in this world reflected on a mirror of concrete or tile. But it’s a broken mirror, cracked by many falls; and in its brokenness, it refracts light into a million component shades, revealing not only my struggles, but — if I focus beyond my newly-acquired scrapes and bruises — all the smiles and tears of my life.

These Disabled Harvard Students Will Inspire You

(Disclaimer: This piece is satirical in nature, and these students do not exist.) This week, I decided to sit down with two disabled students to discuss their experiences at Harvard and what “living a disabled life” means to them.

11 P.M.

Living a disabled life means that disability forms part of my identity, shaping the experience of my life in a meaningful way beyond what others can see.  Because disability leaves a mental impact, and mental health takes a tangible form.