May 15, 2019   I know I am not alone in producing headline-ready narrative when confronted with physical crisis. For example, Canoeist Perishes in Idaho Whitewater. Or, Incoherent Hiker Found Wandering the Grand Canyon. Among the more plausible, Local Father Electrocuted During Illegal Home Repairs. You get the point. Our inner narrative can be distracting while exploring the dark cave of “in over my head”.

Yesterday, I was making the perilous journey from the kitchen counter to the kitchen island. The distance is about 2 inches greater than my wingspan. This means that part of the trip takes place without support. I immediately saw the headline, Peterborough Man Takes Final Step.  It is headline note-worthy only to me. Another passage, among many as my physical life reverses its arc.

At a seafood restaurant in Maine we observed a newborn. The room was lit by his smiles and tiny movements. We observed the opening passage of a long physical journey. We think of this as a forward progression but forget that it can also reverse.  Slowly the motor neurons can quit lighting up. Steps aren’t taken, forks aren’t lifted, and pages aren’t turned.

But the motor neurons allow a bright inner narrative. Insights are still conjured, kindnesses still noted, and spring still returns.  At times, it will be headline worthy. And as in times past, the headlines will have an audience of one. I’m no longer in over my head. But I’m alive with a rollicking inner-story.  The headlines will tell a different tale; of a man at peace.


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