Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Inspiration: The Original Rising

Sometimes in life you make deals.  Deals with God that you’ll be forgiven or you won’t be discovered.  Deals with people that let you down or deals that are kept and honored.  Occasionally, there’s the deal within the deal—unchangeable—a hidden charge to your soul, an ongoing accounting. 

My friend was diagnosed with prostrate cancer in 2000.  His name is Fred,Ted, John, Steve.  His name is every man.  He is 58 and single, divorced actually, relatively short and a little thick in the waist these days.He is an all-American guy with an interest in sports and a hope of getting laid. He says he is charming, witty, intelligent, and an Italian stallion.

Now, there is this cancer.  And a deal has to be made--a charge to his soul, the compromise of his life.  He would live and live longer but not as he had lived nor loved not ever.  The deal within the deal.

He was devastated, of course, by the news.  He asked those whom he chose to tell, not to tell anyone else.  That never works. He consulted many folks on which approach to the cancer he should take.  There was the cut from the front, the cut from the bottom, just radiation, or chemo.  Different surgeons, different hospitals. 

He is the analytical type who researches everything. He had two major concerns: losing bladder control and never having sex again the way he had before.  Live longer; live without this part of life.  The scale of fate.  The bargain.  

He’s reminded of a movie with Jane Fonda, some one whom he, a Vietnam vet, would not ordinarily care to remember.  Something tells him deals have a code, just like the codes in naval intelligence school. A code to understanding the charge to his soul he had not counted on, at least not where it mattered. 

He rented the movie with Fonda and John Voight or was it Kris Kristopherson?  Doesn’t matter now.  He walked away with something of value from the movie, although the main character never walked again.  Yet another deal for the soul, serve your country at the cost of never feeling below your waist.  Then, there is an opportunity that could only be present because the deal had been struck.  The deal is you have to love someone in more than one way.  Sometimes, we don’t know what love is until we have to give it under unusual circumstances; sometimes love is present in ways we don’t expect.

There are new opportunities, if only we can see them, but they aren’t told in advance. Soul bargains, the deal behind the deal. We can win if we are patient and true to ourselves. 

He has won two years of cancer-free checks, and though he is not restored to his former self, he is a person with a renewed sense of life and friends, of integrity and strength. He plans on running the 10k on Easter, and he tells himself running 6.2 miles for a recovering cancer survivor ain’t bad.

He tells himself the deal isn’t complete.  He is looking to challenge the hidden bargain, but that will have to wait until after the race, after he has mastered the code.

Today, he was told that his good friend has pancreatic cancer.  He went to see his friend and console him.  He took the code with him, hoping to break another encrypted message from above. 

He rose to the occasion.