Last night, just as we were falling asleep, my husband drowsily remembered a conversation he had earlier in the day.
“Oh,” he murmured, “I talked to that guy from the committee.”
“Which guy?” I asked.
“You know… That guy… He wears a limp.”
My husband was only semi-conscious and that probably explains his weird phrasing.
But I kind of liked it.
The man wears a limp.
A limp as something you wear.
Think about the control that gives the man over his limp.
He owns that limp. It doesn’t own him.
It makes me want to think about other conditions that we experience as something we wear. How differently we might consider our issues, problems – our very bodies – if they are just Something We Wear.
We could wear our health:
“She wears some arthritis in her fingers.”
“She’s wearing her third pregnancy.”
“She wears a stroke on…
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My sister, Mary Riesche, has gone out of her way to follow all of my social media posts – including those relating to my upcoming book publication, Requiem for the Status Quo, which will be published by Black Rose Writing the third week of July.
You might be saying, “Yeah, who cares? What would you expect of a family member – and besides, social media is so easy to follow!”
My sister, an artist in her own right, is one of the most creative people I know. Her entire life has been spent developing her craft and that dedication has paid off with gallery showings in California wherein she earned various juried awards.
But my beautiful sister isn’t a computer-oriented person. This is not news to anyone who knows her, and it’s not news to Mary. But she has gone out of her way to support my publication efforts by boosting my posts and bragging about me to others through those boosts. Mary never goes onto an actual desktop or laptop computer, she only uses her smartphone, and most of her “writing” is via voice control, not typing.
It means so much to me that my sister extends the love she has for me through her social media kindness – regardless of how cumbersome it sometimes is for her. Her acts of kindness warm my heart and make me feel like a valid, almost-published author.
It’s a darn good feeling. Thank you, Mary.
Or can you?
Doing some marketing research. Very briefly, I’d like to receive your opinion on which of the following photos would attract you to a novel about the affects of Alzheimer’s disease on the person with the disease and the loved ones caring for that person with the disease. The photos aren’t meant to be literal, rather, an imagery that might illustrate the struggle inherent with the disease.
If you’ll first read the mini-synopsis of my novel Requiem for the Status Quo found on my author website’s Home page, and then study these two photos, I’d appreciate knowing your choice of photo, and why. Thanks so much.
Choice Number One:
Late one night, a burglar broke into a house he thought was empty. He stealthily crept through the living room and was stopped dead in his tracks when he heard a loud voice clearly saying, “Jesus is watching you!”
Silence returned to the house so the burglar crept forward again.
“Jesus is watching you,” the voice rang out again.
He asked the parrot, “Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?”
“Yes,” said the parrot.
The burglar breathed a heavy sigh of relief and asked the parrot: “What’s your name?”
“Ronald,” said the bird.
“That’s a stupid name for a parrot,” sneered the burglar. “What idiot named you Ronald?”
The parrot said, “The same idiot who named the Rottweiler Jesus.”
Earlier this week I was headed to my twice a year dental appointment and to be honest with you, my mood at the time was extraordinarily melancholic. Maybe you’re familiar with that feeling?
If you’ve ever experienced periods in your life when your body complains a bit louder than usual and everything you try to accomplish feels like a major undertaking, then I’m talking to the right crowd.
That was my state as I stepped out of my vehicle and made my way through the parking lot to the dental office’s front door. I was limping – one reason for my crummy mood – and paying close attention to each step I took so I didn’t add insult to injury by further harming my right sprained foot.
As I turned the corner and stepped onto the sidewalk, I looked up. It was a good thing I did because a natural kindness was extended to me of magnificent proportions, a kindness that instantly elicited a smile resultant from the beauty that it offered.
And that, my friends, is this week’s Kindness account, brought to you by nature.
We all have a strong preference that life should be easy, comfortable, and pain-free, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with life when it isn’t those things. It’s just life and it’s not how you would prefer it to be, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it. – Constance Waverly, WaverlyRadio podcast #132
I imagine we all would prefer to live a life of health, happiness, and success (however success may be defined but certainly not limited to financial prosperity). With those three preferences met, life would be a carefree and joyful experience. Given the complexities of life, however, we are guaranteed a certain degree of physical pain, emotional heartache, want, and for some, absolute devastation.
Even an innocent newborn baby immediately discovers that his existence on this earth is anything but 100% delightful. He can’t define what that means when he’s a minute old, but he certainly feels it.
We tend to wonder why good things “always” seem to happen to bad people – an inaccurate thought, nevertheless it’s one that we entertain from time to time – but those of us who endeavor to do no harm aren’t blessed with easy, comfortable, and pain-free lives.
I don’t have the answer to that question but I do have an answer: our assumptions about others are just make believe because we have no way of knowing what is actually going on in their lives. A person’s outward show of perfection, boundless happiness, and ease is just that: their outward public mask that very well may hide an entirely different one worn in private. Let’s face it, no one can be ecstatically happy and fulfilled 365 days of the year – or even 24 hours a day, or dare I say, a mere 60 seconds at a time – so why is it that we assume others have mastered that very impossibility?
Part of what I’ve learned in my sixty-plus years is that what matters most is how we live in the present, regardless of whether or not that present pleases us. Living in the moment, accepting that moment as our life’s current state of being without pushing back against it can be far more fruitful and enjoyable than the alternative: anger, complaints, and hatred. For example, Ariel and Shya Kane, in their book Practical Enlightenment, point out very clearly that getting angry does nothing toward changing ones current situation. Case in point: you’re running late for work in disastrous traffic. You pound the steering wheel, honk your horn, and yell at the other commuters and what do you know? Your situation hasn’t changed but you’ve become your own worst enemy because your previous misery has been considerably compounded by your fruitless actions.
- Traffic doesn’t happen to us, it just happens.
- A rent increase wasn’t directed at us personally, it was simply a business decision made by the landlord.
- Long lines in the grocery store didn’t occur to inconvenience us; quite simply, like us, other people decided to shop at the same time.
- Coming down with the flu a day after a person arrives in Hawaii for the vacation of a lifetime wasn’t preventable; germs are everywhere and will do their thing at any time and any place. Even though it sucks that the germs manifested themselves just as the vacationer was heading to the beach, please know he’s not being punished for trying to have a good time.
All the wishing in the world won’t change our current reality because anything we could have done in the past is over and done with. Anything we could possibly do in the future hasn’t yet happened, so we should give it up and just be where and when we are right now.
Piero Ferrucci had this to say about the illusion of being in control when his preferences weren’t met during a vital point in his life:
The outside world did not adapt to me: More simply and practically, it is I who must adapt to what is happening moment to moment. The Power of Kindness.
My nieces and nephews will get a kick out of this one: 17 trees are saved by every ton of existing paper that is recycled. That means if we pulped every Harry Potter book we wouldn’t be able to see the sky for foliage.
And here’s a comic sure to bring a chuckle: