My voice recognition software thinks I mean to say “burden” instead of bird. While trying to decide if the bird is in fact a burden, I decided to look up the word to refresh my memory. The first definition of burden in the dictionary is "a load being carried" and one of the later definitions is “a chorus of a song”. I wonder if the loads we carry
( our pets, our projects, our pet projects…) and the songs we sing ( our dreams and aspirations) are what makes us want to keep on living and maybe when our body is the only burden left, its time to go. It is sad when someone like Natasha Richardson (who died after a seemingly minor fall on a beginner ski slope) leaves the earth with so many remaining “songs and burdens”. It also sad when someone who has shed all their burdens except for their body is left languishing on earth without relief.
I have been thinking a lot about the death of Natasha Richardson and how she died doing something fun and - judging from the fact that she was on a beginner slope when she fell - something new. She was a year younger than me. Her sons were 3 and 4 years younger than Mac. I’ve also been thinking about my physical life – the life of my body. It is letting me down at unpredictable times – like the other morning when I fell trying to get from the wheelchair to toilet. I am lucky to have gotten away with only minor aches and I’m trying to console myself with the knowledge that although my body is now very uncooperative, it did a lot of wondrous things at one point (thanks for that reminder, Garrick) –perhaps enough for a lifetime.
Here are some things that my body has done:
I t has stood up on a surfboard.
It has fallen off of a surf board and gotten a big black bruise on its’ little white ass.
It has jumped during an improv scene, from a 10 foot ladder and into the buff arms of an unsuspecting fellow actor’s body, warning him only by yelling "Lookout, catch!" And it leapt.
It has gone boogieboarding in 18 foot waves in Waikiki.
It has danced in parking lots, on beaches, alone in the apartment, and on stage.
It has run headlong blindfolded as fast as it could into a line of people.
My body has walked along the third story ledge of a dormitory for the sole purpose of executing a practical joke.
It continued to make snow angels and be buried in the sand long after it matured and would do so with or without children present.
Prior to my illness, it stood upside down (since 2002 that is) on hands or head, almost every day.
It used to run into the arms of men I liked (even just a little) and leap, wrapping legs around waists and arms around necks. It tended to get their attention.
It briefly rode a bicycle for a living….and rode a bicycle in a skirt and high heels…and rode a bicycle under-the-influence.
There are so many fun and silly things this body has done that able-bodied people I know have yet to do and may never do. It was never the healthiest or the strongest or the most flexible of bodies but it was mine and I made the most of it. I will continue to do so, lugging my blessed burdens along with me and croaking out my songs too. Even if on occasion, I have to fall.
And by the way, Matt Dick-taste thinks Natasha is spelled either “net nausea” or “NASCAR.”