Narrative Paths Journal is an experiment and has been since its inception. The same could said of my life. Writing, eating, sleeping, listening to words or musical notes, experiencing nature, and attaining any given position (career for me is a dated concept) and to retire is to give up the ghost – it’s unaffordable – physically and spiritually.
As a friend noted to me. “Many get themselves chiseled into a brittle stone tablet that’s supposed to represent their existence template here in this world.”
Life doesn’t work that way. To be born in a nurturing family, arriving healthy and to live authentically has its advantages. Still, life is a gamble in a world ensnared in the material and the politics of contempt. Adaptability and the grace of compassion is a lifelong effort.
I accept my weakness – a vintage fine wine from a bottle is more seductive than that poured from a box. And how does one truly live without books, a pad of paper and pen, candles or lamp and a periodic glass of red and an occasional piece of dark chocolate and music? But then…
I had a dear friend who was confined to a wheelchair from youth to death. Their vision was cloaked by cortical blindness and their voice stranded in the wilderness by the inability to articulate their thoughts in a grammatically precise sentence. Sign language was complicated. They were trapped. Voice was everything. The world in part had to be brought to them. A slice of that world was when they listened to music. A smile emerged. They smiled at other’s voices though nothing was expected in return. Music was what they had to look forward to each day to make life bearable and livable until they no longer could exist. Their favorites were Johann Strauss II Tales from the Vienna Woods and Bach’s Oboe Concerto in F Major. They also had a sense of smell and enjoyed the smell of flowers even when the fragrances occasionally made them sneeze. They would laugh afterwards. They relished a good laugh. It appeared by their patient and regular attempts at movement and voice control they liked experimenting within their own zone of comfort and to expand that zone on occasion. They were an inspiration. Their life was a collage of events not in their control or of their own making and one in which they were not easily accepted though certainly judged.
Ethics, adaptability, honesty, humility, and caring for each other and the planet begins within.
The zone of comfort varies each day. Self-disclosure. Some zones of comfort are more daring in the mosaic we live in, and also, create, and that mosaic offers a chance to reveal an aspect of life’s provocative textures if we are able to recognize them for their worth.