Thursday 25 June 2009

Girl Hungry

"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world."
Helen Keller (1880-1968)
Yesterday I posted a poem about regrets. I wrote it at 3am on Monday night, a sort of companion piece to the cake event, as both experiences were prompted by my medical ophthalmologist's latest assessment of my eyes. I know I have a cataract, and glaucoma, and a Molteno tube and damaged optic nerves and a ten year old trabeculectomy bleb which Dr Meyer (a ring wraith from the dark side if ever there was one), thinks has had its day. But I cannot think of these things, and be happy. So I choose happiness. After delivering his morbid verdict ("Hmm, may require needling"), he peered suspiciously at me and said, "You don't look worried." I flashed him a sunny smile, and said I was done with fear, and worry... and he said, (and I am gritting my teeth as I write this), "The Rituximab must be working as an anti-depressant then"... He was joking. Of course, he must have been joking. But I wanted to bite him! Here am I, passionately embracing the Brave and Cheery path, and there is he, the doctor, congratulating the medicines!
My friend Nergish, asks an interesting question in her comment on the cakes, "Do you think people have different capacities to enjoy experiences?"
Perhaps the answer lies in our experience of suffering. My experiences seem to have left me, not brave and patient and Helen Kellerish so much as hungry. I want to eat life, not in slices, but in great galumphing feasts. I do not want a life of regrets, but I am glad I write of them now. Once I write a thing, it ceases to be insurmountable. And in time, may cease to be a thing to regret at all.
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