Friday, December 28, 2012


I continue on my monomyth, the journey through a new time in my life, a trek that started when I had a stroke last May. And things are odd, friends, very odd. Poignant at times, uncertain and often frightening. I have found the boon, the precious object I was seeking, and now I journey further into this strange landscape, encountering things that confuse and delight me, sometimes at the same time.

Much of my confusion comes from the peace I have found. With it comes a tentativeness. I'm not sure what to do with it.

"I'm confused," I said to a companion, who had the identical reply. Both of us confused, unsure of what to make of what is happening to me, to us. But I think I'm onto something here:

I have refused to give up. Despite being disheatened and quelled at many turns, I have refused to turn my back on what is clearly my fate. I said I wouldn't do it, but I was kidding myself; I thought all along that I would eventually give up and move on with the same thoughtless abandon that marked much of my pre-stroke life.

But there is a tenacity within me that did not exist before. I am tougher and more determined. You can call it stubborn; I won't disagree. That doesn't seem so bad.

The only part that gives me pause: the power of karma. As I become less thoughtless and more enduring, it is not surprising that others have become more thoughtless with me and more willing to be capricious. I turn the other cheek with more frequency. I get slapped even more. On some level I want to say I deserve it. But I don't.

I cannot be master of two worlds — the old and the new — if I do not cast off resentments. I have not yet conquered all the fears that once resided inside me.

I am confused because I never expected my fate to exist in the heart of someone who can be, at turns, cold and so warm, caring and so unfeeling, eloquent and silent. I did not want this to be the case. But rarely do we get to pick our fate. We simple live with it, and try to find peace and hope in the madness.

Unexpected, but totally expected. Nobody said the monomyth would be easy.

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