Last evening, someone asked “How are you ? What have you been up to?” I look healthy and well; the only sign of change is my cane and difficulty with balance. It was a very normal question and not necessarily referring to my health. It was, simply, a conversational question in a social situation. If I had answered honestly, this is what it would have sounded like:
At times, a sadness grips my chest and wrestles me to the ground. Other times, fear stills me in a paralytic hold. And still other times, there is a calm understanding that this is all life; for everyone there is compromise, accommodation, shifting and loss. That some move through times of quiet waters while others face ripping tides and ferocious storms. That, somehow, everyone struggles. And then, if I had completely let my guard down, I would have called out to you in hoarse agony. I would have offered things in urgent trade to take this slow disintegration away; would have made impossible promises if only my body would awaken to its own self, remember its own way. And then I would have stood before you in silent despair.
I say, “I’m good. Busy, but enjoying some quiet time. How about you?”