Monday, February 13, 2012

The Answer to Why?

‘Of Men and God’, a film of the trappists monks in Algeria when the civil war peaked, is about the ways in which we learn to accept things, including acknowledging the fear of the peril from that which we cannot control. Perhaps it is not happiness one has, in times of extreme duress, from forces uncontrolled, and individuals whose choices have led them to dark places. But it is possible to know where and why you are.

I did so much because I wanted to be of service and to be an free woman. And that cannot be taken away, no matter how pie in the sky idealistic that sounds. Yes, someone can put a gun to a person’s head and tell them to say this or say that. And perhaps they will, in order to resist the devaluing of life until the end. But also they can say ‘No’ or nothing at all. There is always a choice.

I am free, and while at times, it may seem emotionally that abusive individuals in Wales, and abusive coaches in Victoria, and the abuse of apathy in doctors and the progressive and helpless nature of this disease are somrhow connected, they are not. And no one can stop me from loving; even learning to love those so damaged or dulled by life that the light of empathy may have dimmed and almost gone out. And maybe they will take the risk to care again then.

I might not be lucky in some ways, but I am free and I know of love and how to love. And I am lucky in the friends I do have, and who have found me.

So ignoring the idea of waiting for ‘good days’, and focusing on the ‘good hours’, I spent five or six hours stamping and sending postcards. Another 35-45 to bring it somewhere between 6,300 and 6,400 in total for the postcard project. Ha ha. It was a good day.


Anonymous said...

That is why I think you are grand!!
back at em my warrior =)


Rachael said...

As of yesterday afternoon, dear Elizabeth, you've managed to outlive both my daughter AND my brother-in-law.....honestly, I never would have believed it possible... You savour every bit of joy or satisfaction or love you manage to create or hold onto, because nothing lasts forever.

love to you....

Linda McClung said...

Beth, I had a lot of fun doing postcards with you. It had been about two months since the three of us matched, stamped and stickered together. It felt great to be doing it again. It was cool pulling out stamps we haven't used in a long time, and some not at all. You worked especially hard because after they were all stamped and stickered, you still had to do the writing. You mentioned your body was in pain from all the strain of stamping and twisting. I wish I could ease the pain. I hope the postcards are well received.

I am glad "Of Gods and Men" was a good movie for you. I imagine the monks asked Why? and What Should I Do? quite often. I think it takes courage to make choices, especially if they can have dire consequences.

I am frequently impressed by your recognition that there is always a choice and we are free to make choices. Your actions remind me to try to make the best choices.

Anonymous said...
a Sara McLachlan song that applies,


Lorna, Bob and Liam said...

Migod, you were more productive than I was, and I was supposed to be writing a bloody paper!

You go girl!

Lorna, Bob and Liam

Elizabeth McClung said...

Rachel: I'm very sorry to hear of another loss to your family. We do have signs to 'Make Memories' which is for both Linda and I. Yesterday my diaphram was paralyzed, which caused liquid to build in upper lungs, so there was some hanging off the bed to squeeze out the liquid. Echinasia twice a day and I don't touch hands or money. I do more than most but I think I am fortunate in my body hanging on. I will find and savour the good hours, thank you.

Linda: Thank you for helping me with the choices, and supporting them, but also giving me the ability to make as many choices as I have.

Jill: thanks, onward!