I don’t want to grow old before my time and I fear I may have during these last 2 ½ years of shingles… I choose strength. I choose to stay strong, to get strong again—one day at a time, one foot in front of the other. I can already feel a glimmer of my old self returning and I’m thrilled.
I don’t get to just give lip service in a blog post to what I want and then have it happen. I don’t get to simply decide to accept my situation and then have it be somehow eased. I have work to do…
But something vital I’ve come to know is this: no matter how hard it is to hold on sometimes, we are not disposable. Our selves, our dogs, our relationships, are not to be shunted aside when they become too difficult.
Then it comes so clear to me: life is not what we leave behind. That’s history. Life is the living of it, in these moments when our hearts are beating in our chests, when our eyes gaze across the great beauties…
And my heart silently shifted back. Back to one who wants to believe again—even if that belief is somewhat fragile—in the making of marks on paper or canvas, just to be making marks.
“…it is a serious thing/just to be alive/on this fresh morning/in this broken world…” Mary Oliver
So to all of us I wish for a letting go of what no longer serves and an embrace of the unexpected, whether it seems good or bad in the moment. And I’ll take it one further: here’s to shingles, the gift I thought I didn’t want, the bit of real life that brought me back to who I am.