Thursday, October 28, 2010
A Portable Feast
“I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”
"Life is never fair. ... And perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not."
“Cooking is maybe the purest expression of love in the sense that you always cook for the other.”
That’s the thing about writing. You can decide how much you are willing to disclose. And Roger Ebert could have easily continued to telegraph his reviews without baring his soul.
When I first saw Roger Ebert’s new face, I was in shock. Since his reviews continued to illuminate the films I watched, I assumed the generous jowly guy giving out the stars had remained the same. What I discovered instead was that cancer had radically altered the topography of his physical body. Radiation left his chin in ruins the blade was unable to restore.
Consequently, he has lost the ability to speak, but not to write. He communicates via a computerized voice system and blue post it notes. He continues to write 5 to 6 cinema reviews per week, and is actively journaling on an award winning blog. Since his diagnosis, more than five hundred thousand words of inner dialogue have poured out of him.
Though he takes his nourishment through a tube, he hasn’t forgotten the joy of food or the camaraderie of eating. His most recent book, "The Pot and How to Use It", is a paean to the communion of breaking bread.
I lost my first husband to melanoma. He died at age 30, after putting up a valiant battle. He wasn’t ready to die. When I read the Esquire article about Ebert’s buoyancy, I began to wonder about the wisdom of “waging war” on disease. For one thing, it distracts us from living. For another, it gives the disease a monster status, which I don’t think is helpful.
Whether you view an invasive species as the enemy or not, I have come to believe that you must humanize it, embrace it and recognize the ways in which you are the same.
a portable feast
they are cells
that have gone mad
you must know
a profusion of leaves
scales a wall
Written for OSI prompts, "champion" and "grace".