A very insightful friend of mine sent me these words in an email. The impact of the author's words struck me with insight and strength. I googled her and found what my friend had emailed me was an excerpt from a chapter entitled, THE END OF IMAGINATION, from the above book. I have never heard of this author, but I intend to get her book and read it.
Here are her words in my format:
**"There are other worlds.
Other kinds of dreams.
Dreams in which failure is feasible.
Sometimes even worth striving for.
Worlds in which recognition
is not the only barometer of brilliance
or human worth.
There are plenty of warriors
that I know and love,
people far more valuable than myself,
who go to war each day,
knowing in advance that they will fail.
True, they're less successful
in the most vulgar
sense of the word,
but by no means less fulfilled.
The only dream worth having...
is to dream that you will live
while you're alive
only when you're dead.
To be loved.
To never forget your own insignificance.
To never get used to the unspeakable
and the vulgar disparity
of life around you.
To seek joy in the saddest places.
To pursue beauty to its lair.
To never simplify what is complicated
or complicate what is simple.
To respect strength,
Above all, to watch.
To try and understand.
To never look away.
And never, never, to forget"
by Arundhati Roy** Excerpt from the book THE COST OF LIVING by Arundhati Roy, Chapter: The End Of Imagination, Pages 104-105
One could interpret these words in many different directions; living a conscious life, the economy and current times or the fact my Father is demented with Alzheimer's.
When I read the words above, I feel it describes our family's grief, sadness and pain knowing our Father, Mom's husband, is on a one way street and will not return to us the way we have known him all our lives. Nor will we ever have the relationships we each had with him. It is different now. We could run and hide from what is happening, but for me, it would be the coward's path. Love is not always packaged like it was wrapped at Nordstrom's with a pretty bow. Real love is always changing, yet always present. It can be good, difficult, ecstatic, challenging, and wonderfully, full filling and familiar...As my 8 year old grand son says, "Love is Love."
Like Kabril Gibran says, "Love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course." Roy's words, "to live while you are alive, and die when you are dead' are so profound. Reading Dad's journals has brought this subject to mind so vividly. Another lesson Roy promotes is, "to seek joy in the saddest of places and to pursue beauty to its lair." I just LOVE that..
I know my Father. He has tremendous grace and faith in God. He is kind. He is gentle. I believe, some how, in some small way, he remembers the essence of who he is. I can see it in his dignity and the way he lives his life now, in a nursing home.
At first he was angry and afraid. I think mainly because he was aware enough to know his memory, abilities and personal freedom were beginning to slip away. He, like most anyone would, recoiled and panicked. I can see how procrastination can skip along oblivious, only to suddenly fall into a deep, dark pit. Falling all the way to the bottom and regretting all the things left undone...unaccomplished...unsaid....
All of it is forgotten. He now lives in the moment. I see him as a Warrior. I see him as a brave Marine, fighting his best fight, knowing this is his last battle. Despite the out come, he instinctively knows, it is how we live, how we love and how we fight battles, which determine our legacy.
I will "never look away" and I will "never, never, forget" him.