Monday, 21 September 2015

For Just One Moment

I am in Vancouver, having made the long trek down from Calgary in a single day of driving. Not only did I do the drive in one day, we managed to stop for breaks in Canmore and Revelstoke, along with spending a wonderful hour with my friend Mike, having dinner at the White Spot in Kamloops. If it sounds like I am proud of myself, I am. I can still do it, still make the long drive.

What is more interesting is the kind of mental space I can get into on these drives. After a day at the wheel, when I really settle into "the zone", with the cruise control on and a long, easy highway in front of me, there are times when I actually forget that I have to use hand controls, that my legs are paralyzed, that I have ALS. For a few, blessed, peaceful minutes, I forget about the disease and slip into a place of calm where I think I am just like every other driver on the road.

It's an amazing thing, this mental space I get into. I forget that my legs will not move on command. I forget that they are dead, completely unable to respond to the call of my mind. For a brief, inconceivable moment, I think they actually might move if I asked them, that they might magically recover their strength, that I might actually get better. Then, as if to deny myself the joy of this brief reverie, I try. That single instant, that minuscule effort, reminds me enough. The spell is broken.

The funny thing, though, is that the feeling lingers on in spite of the reality. I continue, for the shortest of time, to not think about my legs, to not wonder about my arms, to not worry about progression. Even though I know it will happen, the thought of it leaves me. For one, brief, shining moment of glory, I am whole, complete, at peace. Then traffic drags me back to reality.

I may not be able to beat ALS, but I sure as hell am not going to let it beat me. I will continue to live, not in the hopes of a cure, nor in the belief in treatment, but in the wonder of living within that moment, that moment of peace and contentment. No wonder I like a good road trip.

1 comment:

  1. I love how your thoughts and emotions ebb and flow like the refuse to stay down and it's a beautiful thing.