Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Life Of Jane

For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.

David Lawrence
Among my other moldy piles of regrets, I rue the hours I spent watching aimless, inane television programs because I couldn't find anything better to do. It was before the days of the science and history channels and the banquets served up by the networks were of feeble fare.
Years ago, when I was a teenager, I met a young woman named Jane. She had a particular physical problem, I don't know what it was, I wasn't interested in knowing, that confined her to what resembled a large baby carriage. When she was awake she was unable to control her arms and legs. They would continually move in a twisting manner. She was always well dressed (I never asked her about that), she had a pleasant face, with bright eyes, a pretty smile and a focused mind..

I would sometimes stop by for a visit on my way home from school. I enjoyed sitting by her crib and having a talk. I don't know how she got her learning, probably partly from asking pertinent questions, but she seemed to know a lot about almost everything. Our conversations were always pleasant and interesting.

She lived in a nice home with her parents and, I think, some siblings. Whenever she went out she had to be pushed in her conveyance, or carried. But her parents were determined she wasn't going to miss out on life just because she couldn't take care of herself.

After high school we moved away and I never saw her again. A few years later I heard that she got married which didn't surprise me in the least. She was one of the most vividly alive people I ever knew.

Who doesn't have problems in life? There is an army of things lined up in rank and file to deprive us of our vitality and joy. People like Jane are a lesson in life, as are people like Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking, and all ordinary people who live the supreme triumph of full lives no matter what.

DB - The Vagabond


You're at the end of a dark tunnel.. There is no turning back. The way out is through one of three doors. Behind the first door is a pack of fierce hungry tigers that haven't been fed in a month. Behind the second door is a raging fire. In front of the door is a large bucket of clear liquid which is either water or gasoline. Behind the third door are a bunch of assassins with daggers, swoon to kill anyone who opens the door but they are all blindfolded. Once you open one of the doors you can't close it and change your mind.

Which door do you choose? Why?



Maire said...

What a lovely story, Thank You for sharing!

Ally Lifewithally said...

Marie took the words out of my mouth ~ "What a lovely story" ~ she sounds like an inspirational person ~ Ally x

Valerie said...

This was very inspiring and gave me a big smile. Thanks for sharing, Dana =)! xox

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

All have something to offer and teach us, all we have to do is truly look and listen.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Such a touching story DB.....shows what anyone could do if they allow themselves to believe and live life reaching for the stars instead of just giving up. Have a good day your way.

pacifica62 said...

How strange it is that we can learn the most from the people we deem most unlikely to learn from. Do we equate physical deformities to mean the person is stupid. How wrong we would be with the examples you listed. A few years back the mayor of this city was a quadrapalegic who seemed incapable of caring for himself. He used to say that he liked it when people underestimated him and took pity on his capablities. They felt sorry for him and naturally assumed his intelligence was limited as well. When that happened he said, he liked to spring for the jugular and that would show them how very much alive and intelligent that he was. Sure we all have problems in life, and we let oursevles get focused on what we cannot do because of them. People like your Jane, Hawking etc. are too busy living life and being perfectly alive because they do not feel sorry for themselves as we sometimes do.