I never knew that Martin Luther King made a segue to Cleveland, OH in the midst of his third attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery. He flew mid-march (as opposed to mid-March) to CLE in order to offer a testimonial at the Nobel Peace Prize dinner where he was honored in 1964. The newspapers said his feet were badly blistered from walking for days. The headline read that he was barely able to walk, so badly was he limping.
Have you ever walked with a limp because of a cause for which you were walking, literally or figuratively?
When I was in high school, I burned my candle at both ends over every cause. Every ticket was sold out in my naive conservative heart to saving the unborn, the whales, that remote village in Tibet. I was so overbooked and overachieving that I eventually lost pounds and hair that I couldn’t afford to lose. I was an 83 lb. mess. I walked with a limp.
The difference is that MLK’s cause depended on him and his team to lead the revolution. My causes would still march on to their proverbial Montgomeries without me.
I wonder how many of us are behind causes that need us?
I’m 10 days into a 30 day water challenge. I am replacing my favorite fluids of coffee, soda with 70 oz. a day of H20. My skin looks better but the struggle is real. I still have a huge crush on coffee. I am not alone, it would appear.
I scan my Instagram. Pictures of familiar faces flushed, at the end of the finish line of their 10K. I see Facebook feeds full of Crossfit selfies, Tweets hashtagged with #P90X, Snapchats from Pure Barre, and everyone I know in the First World has recently sworn off gluten, allergies or otherwise.
These are our causes, the fights we fight, the shows about which we tell. These causes are worthy and life-changing–don’t get me wrong. But at first blush, it would appear that these causes are all about bettering ourselves. Project Self achieved, (Selfie, Appendix A).
And old friend is dedicating the next year to the handstand. I am loving Jon’s project which he is chronicling on the ‘gram. His reflections are thoughtful and far from precious. What good can come from gaining another perspective, one, in fact, that revolves one’s world a whole 180 degrees?
A trip to see an old friend after school led me back through our great city. The sunshine made it hard not to stop and see the lake. Growing up on Lake Erie has made that water a part of my life, and I feel connected to it. I thought a lot about the sleeping frozen lake, and how it will soon awaken again to bring life. I think back on my last 24 hours and how sleepy, crusty, jagged and icy I can be just like the lake. I try hard not to be, and I want to keep the light of spring nearby. Little bits of sunshine remind me that there's hope. #springwillbeheresoon #patience #kindness #illbebettertorrow #365daysofhandstands #myrockhall
Jon’s project rocked my navel gaze. I realized that Project Self is often a step toward Something Greater Than Self. First we cut out cookies. Then we go help the Girl Scouts sell ’em. In my case, I’m still hovering in phase I. Sometimes my fight is bigger than self and sometimes it is just so basically about wanting a latte.
I like to believe there are many causes that I support but which don’t cause me to limp, nor will they fizzle if I step away. To name a few: the end to human trafficking, the right to observe religious liberty, the right to equal pay for equal work.
Still, there are other causes, much less organized and publicized which might suffer if not for my marching: my children, my marriage, my students. They are too much a part of me to walk away from them–it is hard to walk away from one’s very self. So I will keep marching and feeling all the glory of the limp I develop.
The good news is that I get to keep the causes in the next life, marching to Zion, maybe even breaking into a run.