Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Joy from Nothingness

In Loving Memory of my dear friend, Cate Manzo, aka Cate the Great (and she was...)

I had a really early memory come flooding back to me a few days ago and it's taken me a while to figure out why. When I was little, before I understood language, I was marveling at how keys made noise when they struck a surface, when my mother started talking with another woman. They made noises back and forth until they both laughed, and I was stunned. They'd made happiness from nothing! I didn't know that was possible... I though some event had to occur, some item given, some gain had to be had in order for happiness to occur. It blew my mind that it could be made for free.

Woody Allen said tragedy plus time equals comedy, and Tig Naturo proved it. But what's not so easy is finding the comedy when you're still in it... and that's just what I'm trying to do. Just because it seems impossible doesn't make it impossible. There are stranger things in heaven and earth, and more than a few are labratory proven. Who am I to say this or that can't be done? Who is anyone else? 

So this is me, swearing an oath to you. I know your suffering and I've been there too. I will not let your pleas for mercy go unheard. I will find a way to tell our story in a way that people will want to hear. I will find a way to make happiness for all of us. You may be sick, alone, stranded in your house away from all friends and family, and I promise you: your life is not over. You know what you could do, who you could be, if these health problems weren't an issue... so why not start now? 

Why not assume that eventually you'll get better, no matter how far-fetched that may seem? If somehow, someday this all became manageable, what would you do? Now, what do you think you would have wish you had done with this time you have now? Or to put it another way, what can you do now in preparation for that future moment when you're symptoms are managed? If you know what you would do once you're well, what can you still do now to help you be your best when that moment arrives? Do those things, and you'll start to remember what the pain tried to make you forget - that life is worth living despite the darkness that comes into our lives. And we can make our own happiness out of nothing at all, for free. What greater gift in the world is there? 

Cate, I love you and will miss you always. I will not let this darkness diminish the light that's in me, I promise. You were amazing, and I hope I can be half as lucky as you at finding the joy in life. You are still an inspiration, and you truly were The Great. I'm blessed to have know you. 

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