I know we're breathing. I know we're not bedridden. For both of these things I'm extremely grateful. Life still holds us. Death doesn't seem close, at least most of the time. But this life we're living is confusing. It's often gray and jumbled...sometimes it gets dark, but the darkness is more like a mosquito that comes and lands on you and is very annoying. Sometimes it stings, but then it's gone quick as it came. Mostly there is soft contentment even in the darkness, a peace that is beyond our understanding. For that I'm very thankful as well.
Housebound. Yes, I guess we are. We push ourselves not to be, but it's always a hard push. There are usually consequences afterwards that aren't fun - head and body aches that turn into colds, worsened fatigue, no food to eat because we haven't been at home preparing it and we're too allergic to pick up a pizza.
The world is out there. It continues. It tempts us. It rains and shines on us. We're apart from it even when we venture into it. People see us and don't understand why we weren't at this or that wedding or shower or the barbeque that they invited us to. We're existing in a way that makes it almost impossible to share much of ourselves or our resources. Making conversation is difficult when we're not part of everyone else's world.
We bring other worlds home from the library and the movie store. We enter them. The ability to do that is a gift we don't take for granted. We know we need those worlds. We live in those worlds until we can return to ours. Sometimes we're in those worlds longer than we want to be. We have to get out of them but we're too sick to move. At those times, music saves us. All kinds of music. We listen, we laugh, we cry, as we create new memories with new music or conjure up memories with the old. Video game worlds help as well. (I never thought I'd be so thankful for video games for my children.)
When all those worlds have to be tucked in at night, we dream. If we were able to truly live, what would we do? What is important to us? Why? We dream, we hope, we pray.
Sometimes we get impatient. Sometimes we forget how sick we are. Or maybe we just keep trusting that we will be better...soon. An opportunity comes to help us live out our dreams. We have to try. We are still on this planet and we are breathing, as I mentioned before. We aren't bedridden and if you don't look too closely, we don't look that sick. So we push ourselves to have company over, go out and sing in choir, audition for a play, help make a movie, or book a trip to the midwest to visit family. We take the risk. Our adrenaline starts flowing. Our smiles get brighter.
One day we won't have such harsh consequences afterwards. One day we'll wake up and we'll be able to do so much that we'll be too busy to try to live out our dreams. Or maybe that's what this time "away" has taught us - not to be.