What doesn’t kill you

Years and years and years ago, I dated a man who would constantly tell me that what I couldn’t cure, I must endure.  He would follow that wisdom with the solemn avowal that what didn’t kill me would make me stronger.

I’d throw a straw at him and tell him to stop being so cheerful.

As I drove south on HIghway 5 last night, the setting sun to my right, I thought about that man.  I remembered our times together, but I also contemplated the decades after we parted.  I heard of him; his happy marriage, his beloved child, his tragic death.  We did not see each other but I kept track of him.  I had a sense of what his life brought to him;  where his days took him; what he made of the chances which came his way.

He never knew that I took his platitudes to heart.  I live my life in pithy sayings.  I put my best foot forward.  I grin and bear it.  I strive to let a smile be my umbrella.  I wove that wonderful lot of melodic advice together. I spun it into silk and from it, I fabricated a shawl which I wrap around my shoulders as I stand and watch the evening stars.

In a few days, I will take myself to the sea.  I will gaze on my beloved Pacific, letting her breezes wash over me.  As the sun sets, I will cloak myself in the fabric of my life and settle into a chair by the cliffs.  I will turn 63 as the sun rises, as the voice of the ocean calls, as the birds rise from her rolling waves.  I will feel stronger.  I will feel as though I have, after all, endured.

It’s the thirtieth day of the fifty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *