Take a good look at this salacious and mouthwatering piece of cookie. You can smell the sweet honeyglazed aroma of roasted nuts, flour and heated raisins wafting through the air. Take a deep breath and you breathe in what is noticeably the magic of cinnamon. Get that warm sugary feeling inside, and know 100% that this is life at its purest, life at its best. It is this moment of pure clarity that each one of us searches for in this whirlwind of a life.
If that got your digestive juices flowing then carry on and come back here later after making your own cookie. Cookies are more important than the words you are now reading. (Smile.)
Are you back?
Alright, I hope you've encountered life's clarity with the cookie you're now chomping on, or have digested thoroughly.
Well, how was the experience? Did you bake that cookie by yourself or did you buy it at the grocery store?
If you baked it yourself, where was the carton of flour situated? Was it easy to reach? When you plugged in the egg beater, did you have any trouble reaching for the cord and plugging it in?
"You may be asking, why all of these questions, Danny? We're just talking about cookie!"
Because a cookie is not simple at all.
Life is like that cookie. It is not simple.
There is no such thing as a single event that basks us in a moment of pure simplicity or purity. Every enmeshed tangle of actions, events, goals, aspirations or situations is always entangled with corresponding complications.
To bake or eat that cookie involves a myriad of processes that may or may not have been difficult depending on the situation.
No ma'am, baking a cookie like life itself, can never be simple.
Mt. Everest and the Double Amputees
Now, imagine yourself as a strong man or woman climbing Mt. Everest. You've trained hard for this moment, you've set some time to train and the scars in your leg muscles are a testament to this. Your iron determination focuses your being in that triumphant moment visualized in the form of standing on the peak.
You are surrounded by ice and unforgiving stone. You look right, you look up and the sunlight momentarily blinds you as you look away. You ponder on your next move, trying to forget that below you is a steep depth where nothing but pain and the unknown awaits. You know of pain and you know of death, but what you do not know is the exact place where it will hit you, should you fail to grasp the right rock or lose your footing.
With all of your being, in your mind, you automatically choose the things you are capable of. You extend your arms to hold the rope, grip it tight with your glove-covered fingers, and swing your body lightly to the right, just enough for your legs to reach the next platform, protruding rock, or surface.
Your imagination extends to the fullest, and like a steaming pot of stew, this imagination, (with capability and possibility) mixes itself and concretizes in the form of an action-decision.
Such an action-decision-visualization then meets fate and the unknown factor.
Now what if you're a double-amputee?
As much as I would like to see myself as a person with a vivid and flexible imagination, the best course would be to ask these individuals yourself. In fact, double amputees have climbed Mt. Everest victoriously.
It has been done.
Yes, they've used whatever imagination and tools necessary to conquer what many deem as impossible.
They've encountered challenges and faced it.
- Mark Joseph Inglis, a New Zealander double amputee even broke one of his prosthetic legs in half. He fixed it with duct tape temporarily while his support group flew in a spare one. This happened after he fell when one of his lines failed. Grit, determination and imagination brought him to the peak of Mt. Everest on May 15, 2006.
- Sudarshan Gautam, a Nepalese-Canadian, also scaled Mt. Everest on May 20, 2013. He is armless. He didn't use prosthetics.
- Arunima Sinha, the first female amputee, scaled Mt. Everest this May. Her story is an inspiring one too, she lost her leg after being pushed by a thief who was grabbing her necklace. She fell on a railroad track and was critically injured.
Stories of Despair, Victory and Cookies
Now let's get back to that cookie. Yes, it's not simple, it's not easy to make it, and sometimes it's not even easy to buy it. But it's there in your mind. You can make it, bake it, and most importantly - will it to exist, and enjoy it.
Creative Commons Image via Flickr: GlennFleishman