Sunday, 23 October 2011
The Long Fight
There was a boy once. Nothing special in that, you may say. This boy was born heartbroken - literally. His heart had a hole in the two lower chambers, a too narrow artery leading to his lungs, the main artery, the aorta was in the wrong place and the main chamber on the right side of the heart was too big. The doctors call this Tetralogy of Fallot because Fallot discovered it and there are four parts to it.
The boy had blue lips and fingertips when he was born - a blue baby the nurses told his mother, because not enough oxygen was making his blood crimson. Now if that were not enough, before he was due - at the age of seven to have major heart surgery, he caught meningitis. His mother, terrified took him to hospital, watched him writhe on his bed trying to find a cool place that might be a little comfortable. He managed with a mix of good medicine, excellent staff and his own stubborn-ness to survive the meningitis. But as if that were not enough, he went straight to another hospital in London for the heart surgery.
After that, he was terrified of so much. He hid deep inside of himself, spoke little and ran away into books where he sought a sanctuary from the haunting and hunting of his fears, sorrows and the pain of his memories. At the age of sixteen he was back in hospital for surgery to look around his heart. By then he had had enough of it all. He disliked everything to do with hospitals, feared them and the staff within them. He wrote of himself as a Ghost of Tears, killed with a kiss - of Life.
Still hunted and haunted by his memories, he took to trying to escape from his body and the world. He took poisons, pills, attempted to hang himself and to open up his veins. All of them failed and he wrote only of his despair at being, as he saw it, pinned into the world.
Now it happened, despite this apparent misery that Life gave him, as the rest, little moments of utter bliss and beauty. It made his path cross those of wise women who taught him about himself and about life. He came to notice this thread of luck and finally to learn how to love them, tho' only once did he dare to fall in love. The end of that love saw him lock up the gates to his emotional heart and to give his love only to friends.
The story is not yet over. He recently lost a battle with his fear and fled from the hospital. What of that? Is that not to be expected? But in that running he saw that his fear had bullied him, swamped him with shadows and filled him with clouds of despair. Finally he begins to stop, to think, to rouse the tiger in him. He will return and go through another angiogram in preparation for major heart surgery again. It will be a long fight, but now so roused is he in rage and defiance against the tyrant Fear that has bullied him, he armours himself, allies himself and prepares to fight. It will be a long fight, that he knows, but he will not quit. Not through bravery, for he is not a brave man, nor is he physically a strong man. But once more he call upon his stubborn resilience and the love of his friends who will not fail him nor allow him to fail himself.
He was forged in a hard fire like so many, almost drowned in his own sorrows like so many and despite it all, he still lives and for the love of his friends, will live.
So, if I do not post quite so much good friends and readers all - it is because I am in a fight with the shadow side of myself. With my fears. But this is a time when tyrants fall, when fragile people gather up themselves together and resist. This is a time when we call upon our faithful allies and upon our own strengths to fight against our fears and sorrows. Liberty is what we choose it to be - we make it for ourselves as we make ourselves who we choose to be. I will have that major heart surgery in January and will be recovering from it through February and possibly March. But I feel tigerish and full of fire. I wait now eagerly for the fight and the stories still in me. But like me they too will return again. I will put up stories when I can, but I crave your indulgence.
I will have good friends and allies to hold my hand and like Virgil guided Dante, lead me through the little hells I have made for myself. And Fear will be no more; Fear will die.