round and round...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Oh right, this is what life is

I've had a day today. You know the kind - things happen that make you think something (maybe several things if you're lucky enough), breathe a little deeper, squinch up your brow and open your eyes a bit wide than they were before. One of the thought provoking things to happen to me today consisted of a phone call from a man upstate who wanted to order some coffee (oh yes, my little temp job is still around, doing it's duty until I step back into the corporate fray). He's been a regular customer for years, but this time it had been several months since his last order. You see, he couldn't call in his normal order because he was in the hospital.

He had been thrown from a horse and broken his back and arm. He was in the hospital for 3 months and is now back home recuperating nicely. He suffered no lasting paralysis, no serious permanent damage, his prognosis is good. All that after almost dying.

He is also blind.

He told me that people have asked him, "What the hell were you doing on a horse if you can't see?" His response to them was that they had a good chance of being thrown, too, since a horse is rather larger and stronger than any human, sighted or not. Sight wouldn't have helped him land better, in fact it probably would have given him a good idea where to put his hands to break his fall and get his other arm broken, too. He doesn't want to sit home and mope about being blind - he wants to really live his life, he wants to be an active participant in the world. The man is happy to be alive. He told me that he's lucky and every day he wakes up with a headache is better than not waking at all. He's so right. What a simple, glorious concept. We chatted about life and love and what it means to live your life, not just go through the motions. We spoke of tragedy and trauma and how sometimes real beauty comes from such a dark place - I know a lot about that after this past year or so. Sometimes a small dose of perspective can really change your outlook. He helped realign mine today, got me back on the humanity train.

Now I'm home, watching a great special on TLC. Jamie Oliver (he's the most yumtastic chef around - I met him once and he's even more adorable and lovely in person) is going to schools in poor regions of England in an attempt to get the children better quality lunches. Their schools prepare terrible, processed foods every day and sometimes school lunches are the only meal they get all day. Here in the land of fat and gluttony I often forget that other "civilized" nations have poverty and health problems. I'm actually upsetting myself quite a bit just thinking about people in my own neighborhood who have to go hungry. I know they're here, right around the corner, living on my street, living on your street. Parents who skip meals to put food in their kids' mouths. Kids who say they're not very hungry to make sure that their younger brothers and sisters have dinner. I'm choked up at the moment and can't articulate my thoughts very well.

There is wrong in the world, and there is right. The wrong surrounds us, yet so does the right. The blind man with the broken back looks for the right and tries to do his part to get rid of some wrong along the way. I can only hope that I do the same. I think I do. I try. I think we could all do with some more trying.

3 What people are saying:

Blogger Pam rambles...

Well said! Thank you for the reminder that it's just too easy to see what is wrong or the half empty bits in life. Seems to me it's usually those with heaps of 'wrong' that are often the ones living in the right...folks that give inspiration and don't even know that they are!

5/09/2006 03:49:00 AM

 
Blogger patti_cake rambles...

I needed to read this today. Thank You for the inspiration.

5/09/2006 12:21:00 PM

 
Blogger Bright-Eyes rambles...

There is a general lapse in judgement in this country when it comes to our schools as well.

In NYC they count KETCHUP as a VEGETABLE. That way they can say they offer veggies without shelling out money.

My friends sorority did a workshop with some public school kids here that they volunteer with to teach them how to eath healthier. Lord knows they aren't going to get it at school.

Also, one of the reasons why schools in nyc rarely close for anything is because sometimes it is the only place these kinds can eat as well.

It IS dissapointing.

5/09/2006 02:42:00 PM

 

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