Being housebound changes a person. These four walls have become the boundaries of my whole world. I rely on books and the internet to remind me that there is more to life than this. My imagination can escape, even if my body cannot. But over time, it has become easier to forget about what lies outside. Instead of seeing these walls as part of what is, it has started to feel like the walls are what should be. That I am trapped, and always will be, and that this is all there is. I will sit still while the world goes on. I am not a part of it, anymore.
But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in? – Return of the King
But our trip to New Orleans took me outside this cage for a little while. I got out from under the burden of these walls. And I realized – I remembered – that LIFE surrounds me. There is more out there than the same trees and bushes I see from my windows. Different sky, different people, different sounds. New music, new food.
It was like taking off sunglasses on a cloudless day, everything seemed so bright and fresh. Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? This was like taking that first deep breath after gasping for air. It was emotionally and spiritually invigorating, despite being physically exhausting.
And I remembered something. My life is about more than enduring this confinement and searching for a way out. I care about more than the contents of my home, and the tired, dusty thoughts in my mind. My life is not an endless monotonous slog towards another day of more of the same. I can touch the world, not just read about it. I can feel it smell it taste it see it hear it. I am PART of it, just like anyone else. There is some life in me yet.