Craig Peihopa, on his site The Light Fantastic, posted a beautiful and thoughtful piece today. I'd like to share some of his remarks with you and perhaps add a comment or two. If you would like to read it in its entirety, follow this link.
Life is interesting isn't it. I spent some time yesterday with a client of long standing and heard him relate the story of his life at present. He has owned and managed 2 photographic stores and closed one of them this last week and was expressing his wonderment at what his life has become. He visits his Mother-in-law daily who is aged and incapacitated in a hospital facility. His wife goes in two times during the day apart from the evening with her husband. He said that in the hospital on the public holiday Monday we just had, there was a staff shortage and people around his Mother-in-law were in various stages of anxiety and stress. He said it was depressing and heart wrenching. I could see the strain on his face and the obvious toll it takes in a number of other ways on him and on other people generally.
We are all aware, I think, of how so many of those who are in long-term care facilities have either no family at all or the family they do have doesn't seem to care about them. I remember years ago, when the singles group I belonged to at church went to the VA Hospital here to sing Christmas Carols. We had time to visit, as well, and almost ALL of the veterans seemed to just love the opportunity to talk with someone or hold their hand for a moment. Personal contact is so important.
I have been thinking a great deal about some friends and about people overall and pondering a lot about my life generally of late. Life for a lot of people is hard and if the dire predictions that are before us are in anyway correct, there is more pain and struggle ahead.
Rather than dwell on the hopelessness of fuel prices and the struggles some people close to me face, I have thought deeply that whilst I cannot control many things in life, the only thing I have total control over is my responses and my reaction.
He then talks about the word responsibility and breaks it into response-ability. A really neat segue into his next several sentences, where he says he has to be careful not to internalize other people's problems.
I have been surrounded of late by people who are expressing much more of their lives than I asked for or ever imagined. I'm not quite sure if they trust me, or because they just need to vent, or because there are few people who will listen much anymore.
I think the key phrase there is "will listen". Believe I made a reference to that yesterday, altho not quite in the same context.
He talks about the importance of being positive.
But after a deeply personal and confronting experience some years ago, I made myself a promise that I would never walk the roads to negativity, and overt self pity and self deprecation again.
I'm assuming the 'deeply personal' experience he is referring to is the birth of his son, now twelve years old (I think), who has Down's syndrome.
Is that what getting older and more mature is about I ask?
I am grateful for the chance of late, that I have had to reach out and get to know and be touched by people whom I would otherwise have passed by and not known. My life is greatly enriched by the interaction I have with those around me.
Craig is not a writer. He is a 'people person' and a renowned photographer. I feel enriched knowing that someone like that exists and allows me (and others, of course) the privilege of reading such profound and personal thoughts as these.