Wow. Seems like I’ve written about courage a lot in recent months. It’s been good; it’s helped me think, and I’ve been grateful for the insight of my readers and (often) moral support. ❤
But all that leaves me here without a lot left to say on the subject. I have always before been very lucky and had (sometimes desperate) necessity to propel me along. I’m good in a crisis. I find courage is a lot, uh, scarier, than necessity.
It requires choice. With necessity there’s no “Oh, fuck it,” option. With courage there is.
For me right now courage is exerting my will, mind, desires against a bearable status quo. It has required looking at the world differently, looking at myself differently. It’s luxurious, in a way, to have options. I can continue to walk with a limp, to be looked at with pity, to be unable to do things I love, to regard riding a stationary bicycle as a “sport,” OR I can have hip surgery. I can look at the life ahead of me and say, “Oh well, the best is behind me anyway,” or I can work toward — hope for — something else.
With necessity, you don’t have to look at anything except the consequence hanging in front of you if you don’t act. Now I have to look ahead and consider what I WANT and who I AM. Whoa.
Yeah, I know, poor me. 😀
Visiting Han-Tan: The Dancers at the Southern Pavilion
They sang to me and drummed, the boys of Yen and Chao
Lovely girls plucked the sounding string
Their painted cheeks shone like dazzling suns;
The dancers’ sleeves shook out like blossoming boughs.
Bringing her wine, I approached a handsome girl
And made her sing me songs of Han-tan.
Then lutes were played, and coiling away and away
The tune fell earthward, dropping from the grey clouds.
Where is the Prince of Chao, what has he left
But an old castle-moat where tadpoles breed?
Those three thousand knights that sat at his board
Is there one among them whose name is still known?
Let us make merry, get something in our own day
To set against the pity of ages still unborn.
Li-Bai (trans. Arthur Waley)