In this summer issue of Kaleidoscope we’ll take a walk “Into the Forest” with Mariana Abeid-McDougall and explore the ways the terrain of a forest compares to life with chronic illness. Just as pain is her constant companion as she traverses the rocky terrain, it has become a friend of sorts to Shannon Cassidy. Instead of being a supportive buddy, this friend is more like an archenemy, one that doesn’t want to release its grip. Cassidy now knows what this rival looks like and defines her in “My Friend.”

Our featured essay “Losing Time—And Finding It” unmasks a deceptive thief that creeps in quietly and steals memories. Kimberly Roblin eloquently reflects on interactions with her Grammy when decades of memories began to fade in reverse, as she worked her way back in time due to dementia. What would that mean for the author, her granddaughter? Will she be deserted along the path Grammy takes as she moves backwards in time? Or will she be transported to a time and place only familiar to Grammy? This is a touching tribute that everyone can relate to and is well worth the read.

In addition to personal essays like these, we have poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, a book review, a dance feature and information regarding the release of documentary film Fierce Love and Art. The film is about autism and the transformation that occurs in the lives of nine individuals. For more information about this film visit Contact Dr. Laurence A. Becker at for questions or to order your DVD.

In January, we shared the work of artists around the globe, bursting with creativity in the midst of shutdowns and quarantining as the ubiquitous COVID-19 virus invaded every part of the Earth. Those images from people of very diverse backgrounds revealed how connected we all are, despite the distance between us. This issue includes the work of seven writers from abroad who share stories that again, reveal we are more alike than we are different as we explore the experience of disability.

These international stories include, “Skinned,” a raw look at a woman with albinism who struggles with rejection and self-worth, written by South African author Keletso Mopai. And in Ireland, Carrie Jade Williams was misdiagnosed for years before receiving the diagnosis of Huntington’s disease. A prompt by her doctor to write a bucket list triggered an addiction to an unconventional drug that she reveals in her compelling essay, “The Brightness of Neurology.” In these two stories and the poetry of authors from the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, and Canada, the commonalities in the experience of disability help to break down barriers between us.   

We invite you to join us on this journey and explore the ties that bind us.  Read Issue 83 now!