|Frida Kahlo paints from her bed|
Adjective & noun. Obsolete except Scottish. Late Middle English.
[from BED + Old Norse lag lying + -ER]
(A person who is) bedridden.
Did you know that bedlar is a word for someone that's bedridden? I certainly didn't. Of course, being bedridden is no light matter, both for whatever illness or injury put you there and for the gravely serious consequences that such extreme immobility can cause. Discovering bedlar, however, lead me on a long and interesting ramble through the internet, reading about people that, at various times in their lives, were bedlars.
The Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), for example, was seriously injured in a traffic accident as a child and throughout her life was forced to spend months at a time confined to her bed. While she used that time to produce beautiful artwork (her mother made her a special easel for use in bed), there is an obvious reflection of pain and loneliness throughout her paintings. Other stories are singularly inspiring. Lisa Copley remained (voluntarily) bedridden for five months while pregnant with her twins in order to avoid a medical complication that could have caused her to miscarry.
As a word, bedlar does smack of deep political incorrectness and so it's unlikely to ever regain common usage. As broad subject, however, in terms of what people can achieve while confined to their beds, it is profoundly interesting, inspiring and frightening in equal measure.
Do you know of any other examples of great works performed by someone confined to their bed?
Do you have any experience of it?
Please feel free to share your comments below.