Saturday, June 7, 2014

RSVP to the Pity Party


How did Chopin and Rilke and other artists who were frequently ill do what they did?
One little muscle strain and I’m the host, guest and star attraction of my own pity party.
How quickly I pull out the “not fair!/ Why me?/ Gimme a break!” script and proclaim it over and over to me, myself and I. As a supposed Zen practitioner, I’m supposed to accept all that comes my way with equanimity, stop giving the world the screenplay for my happiness and be disappointed when it fails to deliver. But in truth I’m grouchy as hell, even as I know that this too, shall pass and yes, I realize how much worse it could have been.

Fact of the matter is, it’s healing well, but it’s weird being so conscious of how I walk, like I’m figuring it out for the first time and every step is tentative and pre-rehearsed. A lot of the whole thing is in the muscles of my left calf, but a lot is also in my head and I suspect I’ll just reach a point where I’ll announce, “Game over” and just walk confidently and boldly as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. Which it is supposed to be. And hope my leg will concur.

And yes, I know you couldn’t care less about reading about such things, except for a little gloating that “glad it’s you and not me!” But writing is one of the tools to try to put experience in a larger context, seek out wider meanings (or create them) and thus, move through life’s curve balls with a bit more grace, dignity and acceptance.

So note to self: Next time you give yourself an invitation to the Pity Party, just RSVP— “Sorry I can’t make it.” And after all, you have a good excuse— you’re lying in bed with ice!

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