Tuesday 24 August 2010: 3 years 11 months on …
As the CBD slowly wears me down, my movements become slower and more difficult. Every movement I make saps energy from my body and I become wearier and wearier. This has been especially noticeable to me over the last few weeks. My “up-time” becomes shorter and shorter and the “down-time” longer and longer. I am no longer able to do everything that I would like to do.
But, what is also becoming more evident and especially noticeable to me is the distinction between the various parts of “me” – there is my body, there is my mind and there is my spirit.
As Ed, the body, regresses, Ed, the spirit needs to stay the same – the same humour, the same fun-filled person, the same organiser, the same friend, the same thinker, the same father, and the same husband. In order for Ed, the spirit, to stay the same, Ed the mind needs to become stronger and stronger so as to keep control.
And it is the power of the mind that makes the difference. I have said from the very beginning of this CBD experience, almost four years ago now, that I have two options – either to sit in the corner and mope, or else to continue living a life as full as possible and given the constraints within which I have to work and live.
Last Friday, we were privileged to interview Lewis Pugh, the “human polar bear” in the AlgoaFM studio. He, too, spoke about the mind power required to do the things that he is so good at – swimming in sub-zero temperatures.
For all of us who have our lakes to swim, our Everests to climb, our Atlantics to row, our illnesses and our disabilities to contend with, whatever our challenge is, it becomes an issue of mind over matter – how we draw the strength and the power from our mind and transfer that strength and power to our body in order to keep our body and our spirit going. That is our challenge!
Last Friday evening, I joined Tim and Karen White at the celebration of his birthday. I taught Tim in the eighties, and it was a pleasure at Cubato joining them and a few other ex-pupils, Squirrel (Barrel) Taylor, Lindsay Lovemore, Brett Weddell, Rob Elfick and their wives and partners as we celebrated Tim’s birthday and his challenge of the brain tumour that he faces.
Prior to that, on Friday, we participated in Grey’s BODA- DAYPOT activities. It is the occasion where the Grey boys who reside in the school hostel (some 130 of them) take on the rest of the dayboys (some 800 of them!) in hockey and rugby.
Grey’s hostel is a small one and Sean has lived there for the last two years – and loves it! We often use the words hostel or the boarding house when we are actually referring to the boys who live there. But here, again, we have the three entities that comprise the “hostel” and we see the importance of the spirit in that relationship.
There are the physical buildings, there are the boys who live there and there is the spirit that is engendered there. And sometimes, when the buildings may start to look old and tired, it is also the spirit that carries the hostel through. And often, too, it is that spirit that carries the entire school!
And so, on paper, and in terms of numbers, this is the biggest mismatch of the season. With one or two exceptions, the hostel rugby team basically faces the school’s 1st XV rugby team.
But, once again, we experienced the power of the mind, and what spirit and “gees” can do! With extra-ordinary mind-power, the BODA’s throw their bodies on the line and beat the dayboys with a good few points to spare. And, Sean contributed his fair share of the points to make that win possible. I was very proud, and I’m sure he’ll remember this very last school rugby game for many years to come (rather than last week’s defeat against Selborne!)
Saturday morning I have to head off to Stellenbosch and to Helshoogte, the university residence that I lived in for six years as a student.
I have become like a cell-phone. As my body battery wears out, I need to recharge every now and then. I’m not sure when the battery dies completely.
And Stellenbosch, my birthplace and my home of tertiary education, is the place that helps me to recharge and keep the spirit up. (Read Heaven is a Place on Earth)
Helshoogte’s emblem also depicts Tria Juncta in Uno – Three joined in One. But more of that next time . . .