Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birds, Ice, Levitation...No Dice

The weather is nearly perfect today. About 75 Degrees and sunny, a few puffy clouds float around casually, and a slight breeze cools my feet through the open patio door. I sit at our kitchen table and watch the birds empty the new feeder hanging from our deck. I was never into bird watching before ALS. But the activities available to me are dwindling.

So are the minutes for which I can be safely home alone, as I am now. The girls won’t be home for another hour and a half. I decide to practice my psychokinetic skills. I attempt to levitate the newspaper over to me, which lies at the other end of the table. I stare at it for like five minutes, but no dice. A sense of disappointment creeps over me. I really thought I had it that time. I make a mental note to consult my old physics textbooks. Perhaps there is an important scientific principle I am not taking into account. I resign myself to watching a gaggle of birds crapping on my deck.

For no apparent reason, it occurs to me that life is like an ice cube. You only have so much time to figure out what to do with it before it melts away, and the tighter you hold on, the more it seems to slip away from you. Also, life can be pretty cold. But that sounds too depressing, so I try to find a positive angle.

Hmmm. Life. Ice cubes. Maybe, life can be cool and refreshing. Like a beer. Only without the ice cubes.

I decide that the “Life as an Ice Cube” metaphor is not working, and perhaps I need to relax my grip. I try to sit still and clear all thoughts from my head. The first part is easy, the second leads back to ice cubes. And beer. And images of birds pooping on my physics textbook. No wonder I can’t levitate anything.

Okay, for real this time. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and focus all of my energy on gently lifting the newspaper. I think maybe it’s working, and when I open my eyes, I see the corner of the editorial section move ever so slightly. But logic dictates a breeze through the patio door must have caused it. Still, I steadily hone my levitation skills so that one day I can read the paper like anyone else, only with my paper hovering slowly in front of me. Then I will levitate one of those pesky birds down to my deck and make him clean it with a toothbrush. No good, ungrateful birds crapping on the deck and never a simple thank you for the food.


Anonymous said...

I frequently check your website to see the new pictures and blog entries. I came across your site while researching ALS a few years ago. My father had ALS and passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 57. He too became a fan of bird watching after he became chair bound. He spent hours looking out the window at our kitchen table. You are a fabulous writer. Are you still able to type? Take Care, Tiffany Hamilton Angola, Indiana

Anonymous said...

scott, you convey so much with so few words; the mark of a worthy writer.
hope we get to sse some poetry and haiku before too long. YOU MUST KEEP GRACING US WITH YOUR THOUGHTS!!!(i only implement caps for the direst of circumstance.)

your pals,

Kirsten said...

To answer the question above, Scott uses voice recognition software to write these days. Like most all software, it works pretty well when it works...

John said...

Scott, Kirsten and wonderful daughters,
A thought surfaced today after re-reading your blog and sending it out to some close friends/family:
A sobering reality of death is recognition of life and all of the wonderful things it has to offer. When our son, Michael, passed I remembered something he told our daughter, Elizabeth. She asked him to watch over her duaghter Lucy for her. Michael replied, "I will watch over all of you."
The human spirit is far superior to the frailties of the body and continues to exert itself in many ways. Your wonderful blog is a testimonial to that.
I know the future may seem dark to some but I honestly feel that people like you, Scott and also Michael are doing and have done some great things for those of us who just drift along with the flow. Your wonderful spirit will always soar and glide, without encumbrances and nurture those of us who love you and your family.
John Howe

lemon said...

Do write Scott...
I send my greetings to you and your three girls, from Greece!
(I like the way you write!)