Monday, September 08, 2008
An Alternative View
In the course of the past week, I have had two, of the dearest people in my life, ask me heart-felt questions borne of similar circumstances in their respective lives. I have, separately, and individually, responded to each as my Lovely Muse has directed and encouraged me to. But, as we know all too well from past experience, She does not allow any matter of Life and living to pass away without lingering consideration and lessons. So, my Dear (and persevering) Reader, I share what continues to inhabit my mind with You.
Both of my lovely Friends are lamenting, and seeking healthy and constructive ways to deal with, the insidious (though quite natural) ravages of time and wear on the health and lives of Parents. It seems that both of these Parental Figures are frustrated and discouraged with their respective health problems. And their Spirits have lost what had been, heretofore, joyous and enthusiastic outlooks and attitudes. My one Friend asked for help in “finding” her Mother. She is seeking a way to recapture and breathe new vigour into the energy levels and perceptual powers of her Mom. She is saddened by the presence of a wearied and dispirited woman who was “only yesterday” a font of liveliness and creative intensity. My second Friend asked that I suggest a way for her to help her Dad (who, as a result of several recent strokes and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, is not faring well) to find a renewed and invigorated Faith and sense of imminent Wellness.
Though I offered completely separate, and seemingly different ideas to these two caring and loving Daughters, I am, now, seeing a harmony in the theme of what I brought to them. To the first, I suggested activities that would engage the Daughter, the Grandchildren, and the Mother in exercises of revisiting and celebrating memories of past moments of enjoyment and accomplishment … while recording them in some tangible forms that would provide an indelible record of and resource for revisiting the memories. To the second Daughter, I brought the thought of bringing her Dad a new and fresh view of his life and circumstance through eyes and perspectives of others (including the Daughter) who have a concrete and realistic awareness of Beauties and Possibilities, stolen (by the pains and disconsolations of his illness) from her Father.
And, I now realize that I have suggested, to both of these exceptional women … the same basic thing. A different way of sensing Life’s elements. See it all differently. Guide your Loved One in discovering the Optional (for it is readily available … at our option) Awareness. Smell the Fragrance that is hidden behind the stench of the Obvious. Feel the Comforts that lie behind the curtain of Pain’s insistence. Engage in all that seems repugnant and worthy of discard. I am suggesting something that runs contrary to all that seems natural and “normal.” Embrace these aspects of Life and Living! For they are natural and worthy of respectful consideration. Just see the beauty that is hidden in their potentials. Do not allow the ultimate Monster of Fear to cripple your steps along this part of Life’s pathway. Know the victory of pushing away Fear’s blinders … to permit Life to illuminate new vistas.
I know that my enthusiastic enjoyment of the fragrance of the pungency of decaying organic matter … would seem to be strange (at the very best … if not, weird) to those who are ‘turned off’ by what they consider the stench of “rot.” But I find encouragement in the magic of Life’s reminder that nothing passes away without offering new life, in the form of composted nourishment, through the “passing away” of what was Before. So, I find genuine enjoyment in walking through bogs and swamplands. And the fragrance of that “passing away” is the nectar of new life and rebirth.
Whilst I listen to others of my generation bemoaning the loss of their former levels of physical and emotional abilities … I relish the wonder of the “fermentation” of my past experiences and circumstances into what I have determined to transform into a “vintage” that will give satisfaction and joys to any who wish to spend a moment savouring my presentation of the elixir of my experiential brew. All of those fresh elements of past happenings have far more worth and merit as they are distilled in vats of time and perspective. And I have chosen to celebrate them not as something lost … but as something turned into the fine wine of new worth. I get a nice buzz off of what my past has created. [grin] Don’t you see, My Dear reader? It is a simple matter of accepting the readily available “eyes” of Life … instead of the popular offering of our world’s more common view … death. I choose Light over Darkness.
So, this is what I suggested to my two remarkable Friends. I was offering the idea that they might find some ways to invite their Loved Ones out onto the balcony of new vistas and views … offer them a glass of a refreshing beverage distilled from lovely memories and delightful experiences … and have an intimate celebration of the wonder that is Life. Life as it is … right now … and right here … built on and made up of all of the magnificent collection of all of those harvested and fermented experiences and circumstances. This is what is available to each of us … if only we choose to make it so.
And it is just that simple … a matter of choice. Energized and brought to bear with a bit of applied effort. For, don’t you know, effort is required. This is not something that is presented on a platter of convenience. We do not hear any frequent voices of encouragement to see and hear Life’s possibilities. For, alas, all the world about us is voicing the same song of discouragement and despair. So, effort and creative energy is required … but more than well worth all that is invested. I promise!
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