Rendered Fat Content


I've been receiving ALS Challenges for the last couple of days, and I've been considering how to respond. I thought about filling a bucket with ice water then pouring it over my head while making a video of the experience, but The Muse is out of town this week and the cats, though talented, refuse to apply their skills to videography. If an ice bucket empties on my head and there's no video recording of it, could it have really happened?

I take a cold shower every day, more than one daily in the steamy summertime. I've long done this even in winter to remind me that this life isn't just comprised of warmth, but shocking experiences, too. They help keep me awake. Cold showers seem so same-old, same-old to me, and represent no real challenge.

My challenge where ALS comes in centers more around acceptance than solidarity, anyway. My first wife's uncle disappeared twenty five years ago through the vicious auspices of ALS. Nobody knew why then. This summer, my dear friend reported the same diagnosis, and I caught myself challenged again to accept this sorely unwanted news.

I believe we should all work hard to eradicate this most unjust demise, but without slipping into the denial of its very real existence. No fix now will resurrect Uncle Malcolm, and none will likely distract those currently chosen for this unexpected path. This seems a colder, harder, icier lesson for me, much colder, harder, and icier than any bucket might disgorge, to accept this way this world seems to be.

I’m confident that some thief is casing my joint as I write this challenge. I keep no gun in this house, unwilling to blow away any other to merely defer my own demise. My defenses will ultimately prove fruitless. We should know where this will end. The mystery lies in how and when.

I challenge my fellows to set aside the theatrics, as diverting and amusing as they certainly are, and as much as I deeply appreciate their intent. I am challenged not to grieve my impending losses, though each promise to deliver certain devastation to our world, but to celebrate the presences within the present, begrudging nothing. Here. Now.

Of course I will contribute to discovering the causes of ALS, but I will not be purchasing even an ounce of deflection with the contribution. Should the research succeed in eradicating this demise, there's a long unresolved queue of replacements apparently anxious to step to the head of the line. One will be stalking me. Another, perhaps, you.

I challenge myself, then, to accept this world as it most certainly seems to be: Out to get me, but loving every moment of my presence. Whatever I might fill my bucket with, I will be eventually kicking it. My bucket will watch me go.

©2014 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver