Tag Archives: Shakespeare

The Winding Road

“The Winding Road”

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“All’s well that ends well.”

~William Shakespeare

 The Foda’s Take: I said this exact quote to a nice customer service woman the other day after being mistakenly charged overnight shipping for a delivery. I didn’t mind- she naturally refunded the faulty amount, so in my mind, no harm, no foul. But she still apologized profusely, to which I said, “all’s well that ends well!” She seemed shocked I wasn’t mad. But living with Lyme tends to put small problems into perspective, wouldn’t you agree?

 Hey folks! So I was taking my short daily walk with my husband Mandalf the other day, and, as sometimes happens to people like me with dysautonomia, I started to get dizzy. So instead of focusing on the end point, I looked down at the pavement, choosing instead to only concentrate a few feet in front of me. And although it didn’t take the dizziness away, it did help me finish my walk. And that got me thinking. “Eureka! There’s a metaphor here!” <And yes, when I said Eureka, I did picture putting on a safari hat and ascot whilst puffing on a large mahogany pipe.> Sidebar- that image was completely character-related, totally not advocating smoking. (Kids! Don’t puff that stuff!)  But I digress.

In life, we always want to know how things end. It’s what hooks us into reading books through the wee hours of the morning or not wanting to miss one episode of our favorite TV show. It’s also what gives us a lot of anxiety when a difficult situation arises and we yearn to know how it’s going to turn out so that we can move on already!!! If we didn’t work this way, no one would have ever invented the magic 8 ball, am I right? But I’m beginning to wonder if not being able to see farther than what’s right in front of us is actually a good thing? After all, if I had known three years ago I’d still be sick today, I don’t know if I’d have had as much gumption and tenacity right out of the gate. So maybe the reason why we can’t see the whole road in front of us is because it would be too overwhelming if we immediately saw just how far we have to go?

When I was a runner, I loved going on long runs, always through winding neighborhoods, because the change of scenery was nice. (Treadmills make me feel like a hamster on a wheel. And plus winding roads remind me of those swirly straws I used to drink chocolate milk through as a kid. Wee!) But when I’d get to a long straightaway and realize just how long it would take me to get to the end of it, my head would start playing tricks on me. That doubtful voice would creep in, reminding me of how tired I was, or how far it was, or that my troublesome knee was already starting to twinge and would it be smarter to just stop? I didn’t have these issues on winding roads. Why? Because since what I could see was so slight, A to B felt like an easily-attainable goal, and my competitive side kicked in. But when I could see the long road stretched out straight before me? That’s when I felt overwhelmed, and had to fight with my mind to keep going.

Living with chronic illness is a winding road. We never know what the next turn is going to bring. And this can be frustrating and scary, and I usually loathe it. But I have to wonder- if we saw it all mapped out in front of us in one straight line- would it be so overwhelming we’d wind up simply treading water out of sheer exhaustion? Like when your to-do list is a mile long and you wind up wasting more time freaking out over how much there is to do instead of just getting started? Is our lack of transparency maybe the lesser of two evils? And if so, perhaps the real challenge is to stop trying to see the future and just work on the next step.

Just something to mull over while you search for that swirly straw you have buried in the back of your cupboard. You know you want it. And you are welcome. 

Until next time,

The Foda

Episode XXV: If Shakespeare Used The Force

Episode XXV 

If Shakespeare Used The Force 

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day.”

~ Shakespeare, Macbeth

 The Foda’s Take: For people with chronic illnesses (or Macbeth), it is so easy to anticipate the daunting doom and drudgery of days to come, fearing they will likely mirror the days that have past. Days filled with frustration and feelings of abandonment from the health and the life you once had. But I’m gonna go ahead and call it right now and guess that Shakespeare, although an epic writer, was a total bloody cynic who never had a Jedi Master teach him how to live in the moment.

 Hi everyone! Today I am obsessed with the topic of WARRIORS. Like blue Avatar lady warriors who swing from trees and let out guttural war cries. (Much like Ewoks, come to think of it. Say it with me: AaaaahhEeeeeeeYaaahhhhhh!!!!!!) And the reason why I’m thinking of this is because now that I have a beautiful dream I’m setting my sights on- (Yes, I discussed this in my last post, and no, I’m still not telling what it is. Tsk tsk. PUSHY.)- I have renewed my internal motivation to dedicate my daily choices towards doing all I can to honor and obtain this dream. A huge piece of this, of course, is putting the kibosh on this chronic illness of mine.

So what does this have to do with warriors? Well, my initial impulse was to strap on my blaster holster, craft up my double sided lightsaber (because, really, although The Phantom Menace was pretty hard to watch, that dueling scene with Darth Maul was quite spectacular. What color would my lightsaber be? So sweet of you to ask! I’m thinking cerulean blue. Or violet.) What color would yours be? Huh? Oh, right, sorry! Warriors. 

So yeah, I was all about to arm myself up, ready to give life a little one-two-three punch, when I remembered that scene in Empire Strikes Back where Luke is about to enter the dark tree. He asks Yoda what he’ll find in there, and Yoda replies: “Only what you take with you.” Sadly, for those of you who know the story, Luke didn’t listen and brought his weapon, and so wound up battling his own inner demons. So this got me thinking. If I approach this illness blasters-a-blazing, who will I really be fighting? ME. The Lyme Disease is, after all, in my own body. And while I want more than anything to battle this chronic illness, there is a difference between fighting for myself: body, mind and soul, and fighting coup for my kidnapped health by inadvertently throwing my currently invaded body under the landspeeder. (So to speak.)

There are two types of warriors. There’s the kind, like Han, who will blast his way out of trouble. This is a very masculine type of warrior. And in some situations, it works- but not when your enemy combatant has taken sanctuary inside your own body! But there’s also another type of warrior. The one that fights for what she wants without shooting first. She sits back, sees the problem, and curiously, openly, observes the moment, and finds a way around it. Oh, I’m stuck in a compacting garbage disposal? Okay, let me find something to climb on top of. What was Han’s first reaction in this scenario, you may recall? Shooting up a magnetically sealed door. So I ask myself- how can I be this more feminine type of fluid, flexible warrior so that I can fight for what I want without turning the fight on myself? How do I stay fluid so that I’m fighting for a better tomorrow (is this not the longest segue to come back to the quote of the day I’ve ever made?) without getting angry when my tomorrows don’t immediately change?

Simple. Perspective. When Shakespeare wrote this quote, he obviously was thinking in terms of the past, or the future, but definitely not the present. After all, the present doesn’t “creep by” because it’s right now. Like I said. Bloody cynic.

So to be the warrior I wish to be, I must be sure to stay in my present moment, accepting things as they come, and slowly, curiously, find my way around the obstacles I face. Otherwise, I will be fighting blind, entering the dark tree with saber drawn, expecting a fight where there may be none. Or, as my vocal professor in college once told me, live Smarter, not Harder.

So let us close with a rebuttal to Shakespeare’s depressing prose: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow… will never come a’creeping if you choose to live every day in today.

La Vie Boheme!

AaaaahhEeeeeeeYaaahhhhhh!!!!!! (Warrior Cry)

The Foda

P.S. Okay, so I knocked on ol’ Willie Shakes a little bit here, but in all seriousness, how beautiful (if not super melodramatic and depressing) is this passage?

 “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death.

Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow,

A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more.

It is a tale told by an idiot

Full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing.”

 ~Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5