Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Not Regret, but Fodder for Dreaming


Attention to health is life's greatest hindrance. — Plato

I think a high school journalism teacher, or maybe the owner of a bed and breakfast, or a modern dancer with muscular feet...at least I like to dream about the person I would dare to become if I could crank back the time table of God's universe, and, knowing what I know now, go back and live my life again without MS.
What choices would any of us make, if we knew for absolute certain sure that at a certain point our lives would be subsumed by a debilitating illness. On one hand, the sensible decision I made to go to work for the state gave me the health insurance that provided top-notch medical care early on and the disability benefits that provide most of my livelihood today. It was a deliberate choice to leave behind my late-20s BA in Journalism and my dreams of working in newspapers and magazines and go "backwards" into secretarial work simply for safety and security.
If I had known that I only had 10 more years to pursue a profession, would I have, could I have found a way to overcome the practical voice that led me to a safe job and instead pile my family into an old van and head out and see America and then to keep driving until our tires touched the southern edge of the continent. Then, of course, write a book about our travels that would fuel us on to further adventures. 
If I could have peered through the murkiness of time and known that all of my dancing would be over before I was 40, would I have danced more? I say I miss dancing, but in all honesty, I didn't make it a priority or, a risk back when I had a choice. In my hometown, at countless summer music festivals a big part of the entertainment is watching folks in wild outfits twist and dive with arms outstretched and heads tilted back. Seemingly one with the music and seemingly utterly unconcerned with social norms. I have always secretly envied them their bliss. 
I am held tightly by the bounds of doing things that are safe and guaranteed not to draw attention. I can clearly see the irony in my whirring, twisting, ever so un-missable wheelchair. No matter what, I can no longer fade into the crowd. Knowing that this is my now and I live life right smack dab in the center of a spotlight in a world filled with the walking.
I never wanted to be a rock star or an astronaut or a beauty queen. Fame hasn't cast a spell that held any allure. I have to admit that having enough fundage to say airily that money doesn't make one happy, is a problem I would like to struggle with. It isn't about regret, more a place to dream. 
I often remind God that I would like to be a dancing girl at the gates of Heaven and I want the entire enchilada: cymbals, dark purple veils, and bells on my toes, as Mary Mary sing so well, "take these shackles off my feet so I can dance."

1 comment:

Peace Be With You said...

I miss the dancing almost as much as I miss the walking. It's a different life. Impossible to know what might have been. I now imagine how/what I would be if suddenly all physical capacity was restored. It's actually quite startling. Thanks for this wonderful post .
Judy