|Vitruvian Man - Leonardo da Vinci|
c. 1487, Pen and ink with wash over metalpoint on paper
It's Sunday, and time to focus on the sacred for a while. I've been thinking much lately about this ephemeral garment we wear, the body, and how truly fragile it is.
I will excuse you from this discussion now if you don't believe we all have souls. This is not the issue at hand, and so for today, I speak to those who believe there is a soul within each of us, and while we walk the earth, that soul is clad in a body.
That garment, so diaphanous, so delicate, needs to be cared for with great love. It needs to be kept clean, it needs to be inspected regularly for problems, and it needs to be mended when necessary. Most of all, it needs to be appreciated for the beautiful work that it does.
Each body is sacred, made with divine proportions by the Divine Creator. Whether that body is hearty, fragile, or scarred, whether it is healthy or infirm, it is sacred, and deserving of our respect and appreciation.
We are constantly bombarded with voices telling us that we are not thin enough, curvy enough, muscly enough, tan enough, pale enough, young enough, or not nearly young enough.
Our skin should be smoother, our teeth should be whiter, our hair thicker, our nails stronger, and our weight lower. We are never good enough, according to those voices.
I have a secret to share with you. You are good enough. Just as you are. Today. Right here, this second. As long as your soul is clothed by a body, you are good enough.
Let us rejoice in what we have, rather than bemoan what we do not. Let us appreciate the work our body does for us, rather than grieve for what it never could do, cannot do any more, or cannot do as well as it once did.
My husband's nephew's son (what does that make him to me, besides loved? Great nephew? Grand nephew? 2nd nephew once removed?) is just a few weeks younger than my daughter. When they were little, they laughed and played and shared toys and ice cream at "G.G".'s house with all the sibs and cousins.
They were both adorable kids, of course (our family only allows adorable kids in it, after all), but Josh was born with Cystic Fibrosis, which required him to take enzymes with his meals, be careful not to catch colds, receive regular breathing treatments, and, generally, to be especially cautious with his sacred garment.
His parents handled the situation admirably, and no one thought much about what the future held in store for this smart and scrappy little boy.
Naturally, he grew to be a smart and scrappy young man, too, filled with intelligence, curiosity, and far more depth than most kids his age. He has a keen sense of humor and a wickedly wry view of the world. He's in college, has an adorable girlfriend (hi, April!), and he's working on his craft of writing, with the goal of becoming a screenwriter one day. He's so cool.
In the fall of 2008, Josh's lungs began to give out, and the medical profession, which had worked with such dedication to help Josh to preserve their function, ran out of treatment options. Josh was put on the transplant list, and in November of that year, received the gift of fully functioning lungs.
Well, as sacred as that gift is, and as hopeful as we all were, it has not been a "match made in heaven." Rejection is always an issue with transplantation, and Josh is no exception. Chronic rejection issues have diminished the capacity of the lungs to function properly, and Josh's health has declined again.
His lung function is now at 25%, and he's been in and out of the hospital a lot lately. We're all very concerned for him. But in the true spirit of a writer, Josh has started a new blog, Shut Up! I Got A Headache! in which he tackles the heavy issues he faces today.
Articulate and wise beyond his years, please go to his blog HERE
Click that 'follow' icon and learn more about his journey.
I hope you all will do two things in the coming days; first, remember to show your love and appreciation for that sacred garment you wear. That garment may not be all you desire it to be, but it's perfect for clothing the most uniquely beautiful thing in the world...your soul.
Second, I hope you'll join me in sending encouragement, prayers, healing energy, and love to Josh and his family. I know it can be a powerful source of strength for them. And rather than dwell on the 75% of function that his lungs have lost, I hope that they can see the 25% that his lungs are functioning with as a blessing, and move in gratitude and improvement from there.
May you breathe easy today, Josh, and know that you are loved. Amen.
I thought I should select a film score as music today as a nod to Josh's screenwriting goals. Josh, always remember that a good film needs great music, okay?
Here is music from the incredible 1986 film, "The Mission." (Coincidentally, that's also the year that Josh was born.) Cellist Bion Tsang performs "Gabriel's Oboe" by Ennio Morricone in the PBS special "A Company of Voices: Conspirare in Concert," which premiered in March 2009. No doubt about it, this is sacred music. Enjoy.