the lost man chronicles
Recently, one of my fellow photographers disclosed that she had recently lost a finger and wished she had been "smarter." She also added that she had seen some of my photos and was inspired though to see life a little brighter, to step a little lighter despite this recent loss.
I was compelled to reply that she was in "smarter" in spite of, or rather due to this loss. My words were as follows:
You are smarter than most if only because you have had an experience which most others never have to deal with, suffer, understand and make the most of; smarter because loss always moves us to appreciate everything else more; smarter because accidents and mistakes and our proclivity to err (we're only human after all) take us one step forward, even if that step came by way of a fall; smarter because you have allowed a little inspiration to see and feel and experience the exciting and wonderful world about you, one which many, if not most, never really see, hear or sense because they are too caught up in their lofty objectives or are stuck in ennui; smarter, if only, for a moment, you let yourself have fun.
and i can bank that you will grow even smarter with each chance you take to explore and open yourself up further.
(Theodore) Roosevelt’s life in politics was abruptly broken when, on St. Valentine’s Day of 1884, both his wife and his mother died. "You could not talk to him about it,’ said a close friend. He drew a cross in his diary for the date of the fourteenth of February and wrote, "The light has gone out of my life," In a pitch of energy reminiscent of the period following his father’s death, Roosevelt abruptly took off for the Dakota Badlands, where he lived out his conviction that “black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." He hunted, wrote an improbable number of books, and ran a cattle ranch. The hard work ultimately made wide inroads into his grief. "We felt the beat of hardy life in our veins," he wrote later is his autobiography, "and ours was the glory of work and the joy of living." Despite his distress, he said, "I enjoyed life to the full."
~ Kay Redfield Jamison, Exuberance, The Passion for Life
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