If we are loved for our foibles, I must be loved. Yesterday I knew I would be in for a twelve hour work day. I did not know it would involve running into the corner of a door while meeting the beneficiaries for Lurie’s Childrens at the Hilton on South Michigan resulting in being stitched up an hour later. A normal person may have called it a day, but after the matter I had to return to the business as usual world. Of course I loved the praise for returning to work, but all the sudden sympathy….not so much.
Recently I have felt alive. Accidents aside, the long work days, infighting, running behind in everything and being too busy for anything that resembles recreation has at least kept me from the angst to which I am prone. I’m told all of this is no good for my health, but it is a matter I will worry about later. I have already resolved myself to the idea that getting away from the city for any amount of time will not happen, but if a day trip or two or seeing friends for a little bit can work itself out, that should be enough to attend to my “health” somewhat.
I have recently thought a lot of the city. Prior to starting this post, I was working on a post about never really being alone. I was working through the idea of this being a reality everywhere, but my musings had only brought me to representing this in the Midwest metropolis before I put it aside. Before returning to it, I realized that what I was doing was seeking to see rightly a certain joy in what I have recently only viewed as a confinement of geography and the lack of company. Without seeing these things rightly, I could only view life as pathos, which it can be, but it is more.
After that a door knocked me flat and a profusely bleeding gash put me on display. With that I realized life is also comedic. I do everything to appear confident and reliable on the outside, but inside I am vulnerable and always feel incapable of doing everything I commit to, that is if I want to do them at all. Suddenly being attended to by a nurse, physician, and more attention than I wanted, I realized my interior life was suddenly on exterior display.
When you think about it, they are right….the ones who say I am laughable. I think they are good at seeing beyond the comic me, but I have not polled them on the matter, so perhaps not. Regardless of whether they do or not, I am coming to have a newfound appreciation for life that includes the comic and pathetic actually seeing the two weaved together.
I once reflected on life as a wondrous pageant. I lifted the idea from the title of an album by R.E.M. I related it to the lives of those I serve, who have cognitive disabilities. If anybody can appreciate the weaving of pathos and comedy, it is one who lives with cognitive disability. The whole world is set up to rile against you, but you go out into it anyway doing the best you can, knowing it is going to sometimes knock you down. On the inside you realize the world is ordered up incorrectly, but you have to live in it regardless and you know that at times others will find you laughable if only because they are content to live in a system that makes no sense. I think this is why I find those I serve heroic. They get the dual nature of comedy and pathos, which is really no duality at all.
Soon I will leave for work. I will meet my clients who will ask me about a very obvious wound. I will have to take advantage of that while I can; I am told in a couple of weeks it will heal nicely. I think before I tell them the real story, I must make up something that will be more comedic than it is. They will appreciate that. Then I will have to move on to the workaday world and the “no rest for the weary” world. I am sure it will have plenty in the way of pathos, but also more than a little comedy as well.
Image: Hilton Chicago, the scene of one more comedic moment in my life. CC license, Wikipedia