. Friends and loved ones
Hardship shows you who your loved ones are. Many friendships fizzled out when I was sick. The friends I have now are some of the best I could ask for. They are like a second family. I truly love them. We understand struggle, and we are there for each other through it.
The ability to focus on the present moment, to hear the sounds around me, see the way light and shadow shift, hold someone’s hand, taste a favorite food…to sense the present moment without the distraction of pain is something I can never take for granted.
Again, the question: What will happen next? There are so many possibilities. So many I could not have imagined in my past. That I can’t imagine now, but will wait to see.
Shows can offer so many good stories. Each episode begging the question, “What will happen next?” I have to know. I have to stick around to find out.
Movie theaters are crowded. Overpriced. Riddled with stale popcorn smashed into the carpet by crowds. The speakers are loud. Blaring. I know to enjoy every second of it. I know it’s a miracle I can sit through a three-hour showing without pain forcing me to move, to shift, to escape and be alone. Films, like books, can take me far away. Surround me with sound and color of distant places, distant pasts, and dreamed-up worlds.
Music gives meaning to pain, an escape from pain, comfort, hope, stories set to song. New releases by my favorite artists kept me looking forward on the worst of days. When I needed to escape the hardships of the day, I could play my piano, compose a melody, sing…loud enough to drown out the voices in the back of my mind.
I love the works of Monet, who painted the world like a realistic dream. The outline of reality is still there, but there is a beauty in capturing a simpler form, capturing the essence of the moment rather than its every detail as one would in a photograph. On any trip, museums are my local attraction of choice. Give me art, ancient relics and tools, documents, dinosaur bones, pottery shards, clothing preserved behind thick glass, diaries, photographs, newspaper clippings, strips of film, the treasures of the pyramids… pieces of lives from long ago.