Arya’s “Not Today,” implies fighting and strength. It is a call not only in direct defiance to the gods of death, but to the gods of chaos and crisis. There is nothing passive about it.
I know this is a bad time to argue the semantics of “challenge,” but today, even amidst worldwide chaos, I’m back five years ago, looking at a picture that reminds me how life changes on a dime.
I glanced at my phone and watched as the date changed from May 6th to May 7th and realized, it’s four years later and I am in a hospital, waiting again.
I went back and forth between absolute calm to abject panic to crushing depression and then back to the warm blanket of denial.
It took me over twenty years before I tried out Halloween Horror Nights and I left wondering why I waited that long.
We gather together at an ungodly hour to reenact the original 26.2 miles run by Pheidippides which, fun fact, he wound up dropping dead from.
I finally understood the myth of Sisyphus when my son was diagnosed with a brain tumor two years ago. And like the legend, we were faced with a huge mountain, a massive, incomprehensible rock, and a job that no one would ever sign up for.
No matter where you are on the scale of worst case life experiences, I can point you in the direction of much harder, more painful stories that don’t jive with your shallow, linear explanation of why bad things happen.
Somewhere between closing the metaphorical door of any traumatic situation and getting sucked into the constant vortex of pain and victimhood, there’s a middle place of relative contentment. Of just understanding that it is what it is.