Again, Susan, thoughtful and richly rewarding response. To this piece that I highlighted, boy I hope that’s even partially true. Simple fact is that we are all of us so differently crafted. To wit, and I’m going to do an article about this, the other day in another forum I wrote about how getting sick overseas is sometimes the best thing that can possibly happen. The only woman who responded so far said that on a trip some many years ago her mother got sick and died. Today, 35 years later, she still doesn’t travel and is still terrified. She never got over it. On one hand I understand what she is saying and I also respect her right to her own feelings. However the way I also see that is that she has put herself in jail because of an event going on forty years ago. She and I are wired in opposite ways. Neither is right or wrong. Just different. We cope differently. We see differently. And we choose differently. Similarly I lost the love of my life to a small airplane accident when I was barely 21. I could choose to let that jail me for the rest of my life. I’m not constructed that way. Nor am I lucky, which lots of folks use almost as an accusation. As you point out, gaining those perspectives and insights cost. A lot. They allow me to move differently in the world and largely without fear. That works for me. Not for lots of people.

To label those who operate differently, cope differently, live differently as odd or mad or mentally ill is a crime against nature. Nature itself displays breathless variety. If we disregard the violent, psycopathic or others who do real harm, then as you point out we’re all paddling along as best we can, like every other living creature from chimp to shrimp- we want to live according to our nature and not be made to feel embarrassed or apologetic about it.

Thanks for the story- I’ll read it shortly.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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