"Things are changing. Against my will, but they are changing. I cannot deny it. I could, but the path to growth and enlightenment is through this tunnel; through recognition, acceptance and embracing my transformation." pq (!)
[I have to tell you: I just read those lines outloud and they kind of break my heart. I mean, to look it in the eye, to take it on, to acknowledge and accept that this is my path-- that this is my journey. There is a part of it that deeply saddens me in a way that few people see, if any. In the quiet stillness of the night sky, when I alone reflect on my life's vector, my kintsugi
path. Or driving alone when I hear a song that pierces me to the core, like Chris Martin singing "Up & Up." But then something magical happens, as these moments are followed by ones that rise...and rise and rise and rise, a crescendo that leads to a celebratory summit. It is not that the sadness has been wiped out, but rather it has morphed into HOPE and COURAGE and PROMISE to a point where I am inspired to embrace my destiny.]
The border. Or rather, the Border-- the fine line on the precipice between too much and not enough, between "I can; I will," and "I will not-- the risk it too great." It is the constant friction between pushing myself to take on a challenge such as I did Wednesday, snowshoeing to the top of "Ralph's Run" at Wachusett (right side of trail map). It would either be an epic triumph on a glorious, sun-drenched 50-degree day and give me the sweat that I crave, or end in frustration and despair if it was too much for me. There are voices, both real and virtual, on both sides of this coin:
"You can't do that-- it's too dangerous. You could get up there and not be able to get down. You could fall on your (still healing) broken ribs...then what?"
"You can do this. You CAN do this! You can maximize your chances of success and minimize the risks...yeh! We're goin for it, baby!"
(You know where I ended up...and btw a huge shout-out to my girl, Kim, who makes anything possible!)
The Border is evasive and mobile, and is different for everyone. My Border is now directed by my progressive disease, PLS. I will do everything in my power to drive the Border out, to push it away, while knowing that the Border has its own will and that it may, in fact, close in on me-- a duel of push and pull. This, I know, is the constant, however: that I will show up every day to push the Boundary away, and I will fight it with faith, belief, grace, courage and gratitude...
(And with fun and joy. Yes that's right-- fun and joy. With COVID-19, Social Distancing and responsible quarantining, that means plenty of carpool karaoke, for example!)
The past few months, then.
I'm having more trouble. The Border has advanced. It's hard to look back and identify significant changes since I am "in it" all day, every day. I attempt to look back 3 months, 6 months, a year, to compare my capabilities then and now. I ask Kim, friends, family, and anyone who might have a perspective. I sort through the data to uncover the trend. My hypothesis on the shift in my condition appears to be correct.
I'm having more trouble walking; more trouble standing; more trouble getting into a sitting position; more trouble getting up from a sitting position; more trouble turning, more trouble descending stairs (I'm still a beast going uphill!), more trouble doing everyday stuff. The rib incident signified a shift in the Border. As in a chess game, I've been "checked."
But not deterred...this game is far from over.
I close a chapter, and open a new one-- one with new dreams and new opportunities. But with opportunity comes risk. What do I need to change? How can I be more safe? Where are the opportunities? Where is the new Border? What does my new frontier look like, and how will I change my navigation? How will I get more help? I need to move, but where? And how will I manage until then?
I recognize and acknowledge the change. I accept it. I will get through it. I will manage it. I will embrace it. How? By saying "yes" to life, like Mom always did. I will show up every day to put one foot in front of the other. And that's how I'll find my El Cap...
Find open spaces and social distance (now a verb). Reach out to someone. Stay connected.
The Next Chapter
I see the beauty of my path to the unknown...calling me...