Wednesday, March 28

finding my way home again

It's possible to see such domination of the unexpected in a positive light. So getting lost in the familiar woods around our house and finding my way home again adds a twist of excitement to days that might seem circumscribed or routine because of my disability. When the natural food grocery where we shop rearranged its entire stock, I was one of the few customers who didn't mind, since I could never remember where things were anyway. I am more deliberate than I was; being attentive, purposeful in movement, lends my life an intensity of awareness that was not always present before. My senses are heightened, their fine-tuning mechanism busted: spicy food, stargazer lilies in bloom, birdsong, heat, my wife's vivid palette when she paints have all become more intense and stimulating. Because it threatens my balance, a sudden breeze stops me, so its strength and motion can register. Attentiveness may not guarantee success—as my pratfall in Carlton indicates—but it does allow me to appreciate detail and nuance.

One way of spinning this is to say that my daily experience is often spontaneous and exciting. Not fragmented and intimidating, but unpredictable, continuously new. I may lose track of things, or of myself in space, my line of thought, but instead of getting frustrated I try to see this as the perfect time to stop and figure out what I want or where I am. I accept my role in the harlequinade. It's not so much a matter of making lemonade out of life's lemons, but rather of learning to savor the shock, taste, texture, and aftereffects of a mouthful of unadulterated citrus.

-- Floyd Skloot In the Shadow of Memory

Floyd Skloot