Chair or no chair: a binary relation. But the vicissitudes of moving the body around are infinite. You never know what a person in a chair can do.
I read obituaries every day to learn what sorts of lives are available to us, to see an entire life compressed into a few column inches, to fit the whole story in my eye at once.
Today was very full, but the problem isn't today. It's tomorrow. I'd be able to recover from today if it weren't for tomorrow. There should be extra days, buffer days, between real days.
To write a diary is to make a series of choices about what to omit, what to forget. A memorable sandwich, an unmemorable flight of stairs. A memorable bit of conversation surrounded by chatter that no one records.
My students still don't know what they will never be. Their hope is so bright I can almost see it.I used to value the truth of whether this student or that one would achieve the desired thing. I don't value that truth anymore as much as I value their untested hope. I don't care that one in two hundred of them will ever become what they feel they must become. I care only that I am able to witness their faith in what's coming next.I no longer believe in anything other than the middle, but my students still believe in beginnings. Ask them, and they will tell you that everything is about to start in just a moment, just one more moment.
In my experience nursing is waiting. The mother becomes the background against which the baby lives, becomes time. I used to exist against the continuity of time. Then I became the baby's continuity, a background of ongoing time for him to live against. I was the warmth and milk that was always there for him, the agent of comfort that was always there for him. My body, my life, became the landscape of my son's life. I am no longer merely a thing living in the world; I am a world.