Rare is the morning that I make it across Houston street and up to the 4th floor for PT - through the entry doors and down the hallway and through the big tiled square lobby feeding the elevators, sort of a people funnel as there is always a swirl of comings (and in the mornings it seems the people only come, not go, as the building inflates) - without being struck by the enormity of their pains. Little men bent over, the effort they need to push a foot forward. Grown daughters with worried faces, surely with lives of their own suspended, as they wheel mother along, or carry her purse as she tap tap taps the walker along. The obese the poor the ignorant. All the damaged broken people.
Is it depressing stuff? Should I be chastised for focusing on this and feeling troubled, often despondent? Do I imagine what I see? Are their lives so malleable, so responsive to the various hands they have been dealt, so adaptive and accepting, that I should celebrate their capacity to not only endure, but ... what?
Isn't there always a second side to the coin, an opposite position to be considered, maybe argued if one is feeling frisky, and doesn't this practice generally do no disservice to the Truth (if such exists)? Yet here I find myself without the counter argument I have come to take for granted - it seems that they only suffer, nothing else, there is no more, argue if you will, for naught. And of course there is more, there is always more, but the more is so small by comparison to the point of not being worthy of accounting, hence, not existing. Statistically insignificant.
If there is a silver lining, my physical pain and limitation diminishes by comparison. Whoopee for me, eh? I feel guilty even mentioning it as I am progressing, perhaps even restoring, and many (most?) I see are broken. Or breaking. Declining. Hanging on? Clinging to wisps of life? And I wonder about the series of concessions they made along the way as they felt the reduction of their capacities. I wonder about the limitations they bartered or just accepted and the pain of that train of thought makes me stop. And I wonder about the Creator and wonder if this is as he imagines life should be, wonder was he bargaining with them every step of the way, wonder is he like the shylock who would have his pound of flesh and now I am witnessing the payoff?
I don't know how else to feel about these things. I would prefer not. Bartleby surely had it right. I can not help seeing feeling the pain I walk through daily. Reminds me of a scene from Howard's End; Well the poor are the poor and one wishes it would be better for them, that something might be done but, well, ah, well there you have it. Surely I butchered that but I think the idea is generally got. Well there you have it and nothing can be done. Witness is all.
And so as happens sometimes I find the accompanying sadness. It is quite thick today. Maybe some good food is what I need. A treat for me! Add some exercise. A trolley ride? These are coping devices that I know well and none of which want to catch hold at present. I find some days are endured only.