(He Who gives sight to the blind, He Who straightens the bent)

I've always been acutely aware that my body needs to be fully functioning in order to be a good journalist. I need to be able to see and hear in order to report and I need to be able to use my hands to write and my feet to get places or run after fire trucks. It's like those mother's day posters we made in kindergarden: My mommy uses her arms to hug me, my mommy uses her hands to make me lunch, my mommy uses her feet to drive me to school... You get the idea.

There is one reporter in my office who has no use of his legs. I admire him a lot. He's massively fast on his crutches, and when there was a rash of leg injuries in the office, he was generous with advice. Plus, he's a really smart reporter.

At my summer internship, there was one reporter who was battling Parkinson's disease. Slowly but surely, he was losing all of the physical tools needed to be a great reporter, and he struggled so much to use the computer. Watching him get frustrated, knowing he was struggling to do what he loved, was one of the saddest things I've seen.

But this newspaper-- which is struggling financially--keeps paying him and letting him come in a few hours a day, when he can to work on features, that by his own admission may be too old or too long to be published. But ask him anything about anything and he'll give you the entire history lesson, any background you need to know. He's rubbed shoulders with all the greats in the business and can tell you remarkable stories about Washington transforming around him over the decades. He was a remarkable metro reporter who became a very sharp court reporter, before fighting his body and watching his twin brother degenerate faster than he is. It's like looking into a mirror that shows you a year or two into the horrible future.

This post was going to be a quick and quirky post about getting my eyes tested and how I balked when the doctor asked me if he could dilate my pupils. "I understand," he said. "As soon as you said you were a journalist, I figured, you wouldn't want your pupils dilated." He made me another appointment for after deadline.

But I changed my mind. This post has become a tribute to the people who do this job with so much love for the craft and the profession, who never complain, and who make me grateful for my fully functioning body.

Thanks to all those people who teach me so much as they defiantly face their past and their future.

Title from the morning blessings of thanks in the siddur.

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Written Pyramids is a blog written by a journalist living and working in Washington D.C.

I have left my real name off of the blog so as not to imply that the blog is somehow linked with the journalism I get paid to do. (Still, I never write about my beat on this blog, and rarely express opinions about the day's news regardless of its relationship to my beat).

I would love to hear from you. If you want to contact me directly rather than leaving a comment here, I can be reached at WrittenPyramids@gmail.com.

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Books pyramid image originally from the British website, Explore Writing.