My tear ducts have been to the gym.
Let me explain. I am 65 and in the process of taking things out of storage. I’m going through boxes and large (sometimes clear, sometimes not) garbage bags. The bags are filled with soft items that mostly turn out to be curtains, fleece blankets, stuffed animals, clothes. Old t-shirts of mine that when held out full, look shockingly small.
I’m clearly not half the man I used to be.
And then I emptied the contents of a pale cotton bag, maybe a pillow case and a half in size. Out fell a dozen or so neatly folded washcloths, colors faded, pinks, yellows. Two hand towels.
I couldn’t place them.
And then, the coin dropped. They were my mother’s. She committed suicide August 12, 1992. Today is January 17, 2019. No, the pain is not less.
My tear ducts have been to the gym.
I would like to write words that lift a reader’s day, perhaps help a heart heal, a body heal, the soul too. Let’s not leave the soul out. Absent that and you’ve removed oxygen from the air.
If you’ve lost sight of, or never knew, the extraordinary value of the life that is you, I can promise you, it’s there. Michelangelo (1474-1564), the Italian sculptor, painter and architect, believed the masterpiece was already in the block of marble. His task was to keep carving so we could see it. He once said: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
I believe each life is a masterpiece in its own right, right from the beginning. The thing is, life can be brutal and many of us have received some cruel and untrue! messages about who we are. Start the wounding early enough and the child has no reason to disbelieve what they are all too often told, they are the problem, and if only…. then they wouldn’t be. Rubbish. It’s not true.
The masterpiece that is you may be trapped in the marble of your history, but its there. Because you are not in touch with it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Promise.
The challenge is not one of becoming a valuable human being; it’s discovering you always have been a valuable human being.
I knew a young man, he was nineteen when I met him, paralyzed from the neck down, on a ventilator. He’d been shot through the neck. He was in his twenties when he died. He was a wonderful person, pure and simple. I met a young man a few years ago who’d suffered a brain injury in a car accident. During the accident he saw, and I mean, saw, two of his friends get decapitated. I know a woman who went out walking with her husband one winter day pulling their two little children on a sled behind them when a snowmobile driven by a drunk driver crashed into them. When this woman came out of a coma she learned she was permanently paralyzed from the neck down – and that both her children had died in the accident.
What I’ve just shared with you here helps, I hope, to explain why I pretty quickly weary of those who live in rather than with their problems, Problems take center stage, at the exclusion of everything else. Hell, it seems to me if I kept the problems I face in life center stage, at the exclusion of everything else, I sure as hell wouldn’t be writing this piece and I’d be missing out on a lot of wonderful things in life. No more reading books. No more good conversations. Not more movies, music, healthy love, making love, kissing, laughing, learning, all because my problems in life, difficult as some may be, have more control of my life than they deserve too.
If a large majority of your life is wrapped up in talking about and bemoaning your problems, then those very problems are guilty of robbing you of some wonderful life experiences.
If I see a beautiful sunset, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to disengage from what I’m doing at the moment to take it in. It’s beautiful, one of life’s delicacies, I don’t want to miss it.
Don’t miss the sunsets.
In loving memory of N.E.