Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Life Kinesthetic

I am paralyzed. I am paralyzed. The first few times I spoke the words out loud they stuck in my throat, refusing to come out. The thought came with a shudder. I hardly even knew what they meant at the time. Even so, there is a visceral fear that comes along with the words. Some instinct buried deep down lets us know that it is a terrible thing. A loss unlike any other. Take my nose. Take my ears. Take my tongue. Take my eyes. Anything but this. What is this?

I wonder:

Up above, the sky is a dark canvas stretched taut from horizon to horizon. Thousands upon thousands of reluctant stars have been coaxed into the painting. Their tiny points of light join into great swathes, pure white, radiant, delicate. The thinnest of yellow lines streaks across the edge of vision, foretelling the coming goliath. Crashing waves of golden oblivion will soon sweep this moment into the past. In a word, in the only word, beautiful.

When we think of something beautiful, it is usually an image that comes to mind. If further pushed it may be a song. One that stirs our hearts. Even a smell or a taste can take us back to a beautiful memory. When I lost the ability to play my guitar, I knew I lost something beautiful. It was not the sounds that were made, lovely as they were. It was not the strings beneath my fingers. Are there even beautiful feelings? I walk back through my memories in search. Blades of grass pass under my feet. A warm summer rain comes down, the drops of water splashing against my body, soaking me to the bone. Soft lips brush against my own. They are all just sensations. It seems that beauty is a feeling to be invoked within us. What then have I lost? What is this hole in me?

Touch. I have lost touch. I have lost connection. We all want to touch and be touched. We all want to move, and create, and destroy. The world goes by in front of me, just behind the glass. I am the fish in the fish bowl.

I am paralyzed.

There are times when I look into the future. I see that I will never feel, beneath my fingers, the warmth of the woman that I love. In those moments, I feel so very lonely.


  1. Grieving a loss, particularly a loss of the magnitude you have experienced, carves one out to the bedrock of the soul. But it's also part of what restores us. You are doing such amazing things both inside and outside yourself. Again, thank you for your generosity in sharing. Blessings and prayers. Liz

  2. Have you ever dreamed you were flying, not in a plane, but soaring like a bird? The feeling of it is very real, yet it's only what I think it feels like, since I obviously can't fly. It's an amazing thing to realize that our minds are capable of feelings we invent ourselves for experiences we can't have. Nothing can paralyze your mind, Craig. You are going to accomplish great things and enjoy and bless others with your brilliant creative mind, your personality and your loving heart. You have much to give and it will be returned to you! Keep looking up and know I'm praying for you! Joan

  3. Well, Craig, I am sure there is, indeed, no true substitute for the experiences you will likely be missing for the rest of your days (though I will maintain the hope that this will not turn out to be the case). I grieve for you, and for my other friends who are in similar or parallel conditions. However, I suspect that when great evils such as this are permitted, there is also the potential for great good to be derived from it through the grace-assisted struggle of the victim. I suspect this will be true in your case as well. Your condition and vocation will be intertwined in some way. I think you have the potential to bring great good out of this, somehow, with the help of God. Keep writing!