Ladakh, India, 2008.
A year ago, on Easter weekend, I fell 30′ from a wall in Pisa, Italy. Most of you know that. I shattered both feet, cracked my pelvis and was told I would never walk the same again, and would “always have a limp, though you’ll limp with both feet, so it won’t look like a limp.” Whatever that means. A year later, after a couple surgeries, extensive rehab, and now the help of my chiropractor and trainer, I walked to dinner last night without the trace of a limp. It comes and goes, to be sure. Some days are better than others, and some days I need my cane. But through this year I’ve learned that I can do damn-near anything. So can you. The human spirit is a remarkable force.
I hit 40 this year. In those 40 years I’ve hit the ground more than once. Among other shining moments, I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 20. I’ve divorced twice. I’ve gone bankrupt once. Each time I thought I’d never survive, would never live the life I wanted, would end up living in a box under a bridge, would wither from the shame of failure. But we bounce. We don’t have to, of course; we can choose to wallow, allow ourselves to be victims. Or we can say, F*ck it, take a deep breath, lean into the pain, and the fear, and move forward.
Have you seen the Honey Badger video on YouTube? (warning: NSF, rough language.) If I had a spirit guide, it’d be the honey badger. We don’t all have bodies that do what we need them to, can’t all lean on good looks, or have above-average intelligence. But we can choose to endure, to persevere. I don’t want a perfect life; I want the courage to keep going, to sleep off the venom, to keep going, to bounce back. What’s Easter if not a celebration of the possibility of resurrection, and return from the darkest life has to offer?
We bounce, but it’s usually a choice. It’s that way in life, and it’s that way in art. And when bouncing isn’t enough, the truly blessed have friends to catch them, and you all carried me through moments this year, especially last May, that I didn’t think I’d come through. So this short post is simply to say “Thank you,” to remind you that you too will bounce back from the fall, whatever that is for you, and to wish you, from the bottom of a grateful heart, a Happy Easter.