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This past weekend my husband and I watched a ten or twelve year old movie about Frida Kahlo. I was introduced to Kahlo’s work and life at an exhibition in Southern California and ever since that time, I have loved what I have seen and read about her. Her life is an inspiration to me. She was in pain most of her adult life, and yet she kept on living. Not only did she keep on living, she thrived. Her life is a wonderful example for anyone who has chronic pain or a severe illness.

After watching the movie my husband and I decided to get out of the house for a while. We went down to the waterfront and because it was hot, and because I love books, we headed for my favorite novelty shop/coffee shop/bookstore. When we were there I had an idea. There have been many times when my husband and I have read books to each other (usually while traveling) and I thought it would be nice to get a book for us to take turns reading to each other.

Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

I imagined it would be the perfect book for us right now. In 2006 we took a road trip for six months and we loved it. We went to thirty four states. We talk about doing it again as soon as my husband can retire. Last week, I found a map on the Internet of many of the most famous road trips – road trips taken and written about by famous authors. Someone took the time to map out these famous author’s paths across the country. Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance, is on the map.

I loved the book when I was in my twenties. I have a feeling I will love and appreciate it even more as I near fifty.

My husband started reading it to me two nights ago. The message was about taking the least traveled roads, looking at the beauty that surrounds you, how we work to live, but don’t really enjoy it. So far, it also contains the message of simplicity.

I am disabled, but I’m not dead. I want to have hopes and dreams like everyone else. Even though I have a severe mental illness, I want to thrive. I want to be inspired. I want to live a life with as much meaning as possible.

I am certain my husband and I will finish the book, and begin to make plans to follow the path that the author of the book travels. We may take our car if I can’t get past some of my fears, but we are going to look at motorcycles next weekend.

A movie, a book, inspiration, a dream, weaving our way through this world the best we can manage with our own challenges.

I may ride on the back of a motorcycle again one day, holding on to my husband, and following the roads mapped out in great books.

It’s romantic. It’s exciting. It’s a creative way to take an unusual vacation, especially for someone who loves books.

I must learn to step away from my computer, and look at the road ahead of me. Whether on my feet, in a car, or on a motorcycle, there are paths to take and things to see. I can’t let my illness keep me from the scenery of life. My doctor says if I stop trying out of fear, the less and less I will be able to do.

Right now, we are traveling on a motorcycle via the words written by a writer, but soon I may feel the wind on my face and the dampness of the air near the Pacific.

Dare to dream, I’ll meet you there.