Cleric! Pass the Elixir of Health!

There’s an old quotation, sometimes credited to the movie The Princess Bride, that says, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.“

I recently had a bit of a health scare. Waking up in the middle of the night, I rose to go to the bathroom. Suddenly I found myself off balance and almost falling. I sat back down on the bed, and then after a few moment I stood up again. Same result: almost falling over. Since I needed to get to the bathroom, I decided to get there by crawling. (And wondering, on the trip, where the phrase “on all fours“ came from? Why not simply, “on all four“?)

My next trip to the bathroom a few hours later was easier. And the next morning, while I still felt a little lightheaded, like something nagging me at the back of my mind, I could walk with good balance.

But this concerns me, for several reasons. My retirement plans were predicated on being healthy, and my health maintenance is very positive: regular colonoscopies, all the right vaccines, attention to diet. I don’t exercise as much as I should, but I have taken up serious flossing. And yet, who knows what might strike unexpectedly out of the darkness?

This is not the first time I have had a little vertigo, so I wasn’t really worried. But that concern remains. And that umbrella of concern extends to others. One of these is, of course, my fiancée; when you find your love late in life you want to spend time together, at restaurants, traveling, or just relaxing, preferably pain- and worry-free.

Also concerning are collaborators. Frequent readers of this blog will recall plans to open a theatre. But some of those plans hinge on health. Other than my wise advice to find employment and to do more than squirrel away in isolation, what can I say that will not go unheeded, or will there, can there be positive changes? Can my exhortations make a difference? Or will sudden changes in weather or temperature or physicality bring the theatre’s development to a complete halt?

On the other hand, we look at my fiancée Joyce who often work herself until she’s ready to collapse. We try to get her to slow down, but she just won’t. While I often argue with her to take breaks I fundamentally admire her continuing to push through the pain to get things accomplished.

She displays resilience. I use that particular term because, years ago, a student of mine, who was a psychology major, was part of a senior capstone project about that very topic. Amie Millward presented a wonderful overview to the project, which encapsulated the idea of resilience in a perfect way. She has been resilient, weathering many storms, and is today working with the title: Performing Arts Instructor. She too will be part of our theatre company as it moves forward. As I hope it moves forward. See above.

Only time will tell, but perhaps this blog post will be a nudge in the right direction.

A meme found on Facebook. It reminds me of the poem, “The Lighthouse,” that I wrote ages ago and included in my book of poems, The Silent Oracle.

There are times in our lives
When we, completely overwhelmed,
Feel about to drown 
In the strong currents that engulf us.

We need to plan for, and see, the future
But keeping our heads above water,
As we gasp for air, for life,
Takes all our conscious thought.

And those thoughts weigh us down
So we think we cannot stay afloat.

To surrender seems so easy
But to surrender is to lose--
Not only our own lives
But the warmth and love of others

Look, my love, to the horizon
Where the lighthouse stands
It shines a light for you to focus on
To show you there is still life

And that light beam emanating from the tower
Is the light of my love
Seeking your rescue, to find you
And guide you through the waves you are caught in

You may fall peril to drowning again, like this time
But I know like the last time, you will emerge safe
My faith in you is boundless
My belief in you is boundless
My love for you is endless

Please don't lose hope

Please don't lose faith.

Don't let others shake you.

Turn your eyes to the tower, and to my shore, 
And let me rescue you.

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

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