I recently watched the Steven Hawking movie The Theory About Everything and was touched by Muhammad Ali’s death.
Muhammad Ali was a dynamic, strong, and vibrant athlete.
Struck with Parkinson’s, he was forced to give up the athlete life he led. He found another path and became a passionate philanthropist.
Steven Hawking was a happy-go-lucky scientist whose muscles slowly started to betray him. Not to worry, he too found another path and churned out a best-seller book A Brief History of Time.
What do we do when something goes wrong? Do we forge ahead and create another path? Or do we wallow? Or wallow for the time-being before creating a new path? Do we get stuck? Refuse to bloom?
If we are a photographer, what do we do when we run out of film? or nowadays when our camera battery dies?
If we are a writer, what do we when our pen runs out of ink? when our words swim away into the impermeable ocean of writer’s block? when our ideas evaporate into a too-faraway cloud of writers block?
Do we keep trying? In Muhammad Ali’s case, fighting? Stephen Hawking, studying? For me– writing? photographing?
When we’re stuck, do we change it up and go outside, stare at the clouds, and feel the words that we’ve been searching for float back into our brains?
Do we put down the camera and see the world through two refreshed eyes rather than a bulky and tired camera lens?
Do we look for another path when our current path is blocked? When our bodies betray us, what will we have left? When our minds become soft become like butter left out too long, what will we have left?
Are we ready to leave this life to go to the next? (love Muhammad Ali’s words about this here.)
I hope and pray than even when obstacles turn up our way, and they will, that we have the courage to find our own path. To create a new path if needed. To bloom always and openly.
President Obama on Muhammad Ali:
“Later, as his physical powers ebbed, he became an even more powerful force for peace and reconciliation around the world. We saw a man who said he was so mean he’d make medicine sick reveal a soft spot, visiting children with illness and disability around the world, telling them they, too, could become the greatest. We watched a hero light a torch, and fight his greatest fight of all on the world stage once again; a battle against the disease that ravaged his body, but couldn’t take the spark from his eyes.”