I don’t often write about the devastating disease that has me largely home bound, but on a day when the simple task of taking a shower feels like climbing Mt. Everest, I indulge in a little self-reflection.
True enough, Multiple Sclerosis has changed everything. It has slowed me down, has taken my strength, and step by step it is wrestling mobility away from me.
So today I climbed Mt. Everest and afterward the dogs and I ventured to the great outdoors. With the snow melting steadily, it was crucial to get out and scoop the accumulated poop. While I carefully guided my electric bike around the yard and frequently stopped to pick up the thawing unspeakables, the dogs joyfully bounded around, miraculously avoiding to step into any of it.
Since my forced retirement from business, the internet has become an indispensable companion and unlike my beloved dogs, this companion needs neither outdoor potty breaks nor frequent pettings. And that is a good thing when fatigue rears its ugly head.
Of course, no computer could ever compete with a lovable Bernese Mountain Dog.
But back to the topic at hand. For me the internet is a miraculous door to the world. A door which I open every day and step through to participate in world affairs. From my seat at the computer I have been able to connect with like-minded people, such as the Bernese mountain Dog community. The picture of puppy Frost is a perfect example of the friendships that have come about because of the internet.
Another example is the community of bloggers which I joined a few years ago. A community that has brought a sense of normality back to my secluded life. I dare say that some of the bloggers who interact regularly by commenting on each others posts are an indispensable part of keeping in touch with others and avoid social isolation. A perfect example of such interaction is the pleasure I receive from Teresa Silverthorn’s blog:
And there are wold events, such as the shifting sands in the Middle-East. Primarily through Al Jazeera Live I am able to step among the multitudes of people who have lost their fear of their oppressors.
A most exhilarating time to see human history remake itself, as dictator after dictator teeters on the brink of justice.
And there are other communities, the communities of people struggling with illness such as Multiple Sclerosis, the communities of activists of all kind, the community of scientists, the community of people engaged in the creation of music and art, and so on…and so on…
And finally, the most important point about the incredible door that sits on my desk:
I can close it at any time! I can close it and pursue the other life that I have learned to cherish since Multiple Sclerosis has forced itself upon me. And that life is the one I never thought I would have the leisure to pursue, the life of contemplation, the life of quiet dignity, self-reflection and peace.