Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are nurses with disabilities the spirit line of the art of nursing?

     Harry Walters, a contributor to the book Woven
by the Grandmothers: Nineteenth- Century
Navajo Textiles from the National Museum of the
American Indian states, “To make something that
is perfect means there is no more room for
improvement. . . . If a weaver weaves a perfect
rug, she makes a little mistake on purpose—an
imperfection. Often we see a little line, which the
Navajo call a spirit line that extends to the edge of
a rug through the border. This line is added by
the weaver so the rug will not be perfect.” This
wonderful attitude toward human acts of creation,
so antithetical to typical Western notions, is not
only characteristic of, but crucial to, the way
Native people think about what we call “art.”

Let’s reflect on the “art” of nursing and nurses
with disabilities in particular. Consider these

Are nurses with disabilities the "spirit line" of the
art of nursing? Is disability an opportunity for
improvement in ourselves and others? Are
imperfections part of the art of nursing? Are we
all part of the fabric of our profession—including
our strengths and weaknesses, gifts and

 Do the "spirit lines" of nursing make us stronger
and more beautiful?

Love to read your thoughts,


Walters, H. (1996) In E. Bondar,  Woven by the Grandmothers: Nineteenth- Century Navajo Textiles from the National Museum of the American IndianWashington: Smithsonian Institution Press.