I am moved and inspired by stories of triumph over adversity and don't feel comfortable calling my challenged mobility adversity. I thought I knew, thought I was capable of comprehending the enormity of spirit demanded of those who push beyond comfort, beyond what might have been limits. I had no idea.
Yesterday, noting the abundance of books that live with us, the therapist spoke of Dr. Oliver Sacks' work, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. What was most meaningful to her was not only the way in which Dr. Sacks shared his stories, but THAT he shared them, that he saw in each human drama information and expansion that would benefit and teach us all. I first read the book years ago. Here is some information from the official Oliver Sacks site:
Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
Here Dr. Sacks recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders: people afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations; patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.
If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do.
Dr. Sacks on Hat:
“Short narratives, essays, parables about patients with a great range of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions, written in a lighter, more informal style than I had ever used before. To my intense surprise (my publisher’s too!) this book hit some nerve in the reading public, and became an instant best-seller.”The lesson, everywhere in everything and that is not an exaggeration, is always love, is always compassion. We are given the most flamboyantly disguised opportunities to become altered, altered being a desirable state. I have written three words, among tips and directions to help me remember how a particular exercise is supposed to look and feel, at the top of my work sheet. To keep me in my body, on task and out of my weasel mind, they are EXTENSION, ENDURANCE and OPPORTUNITIES. I guess there will be additional reports from the road. xo