By Paul Schneidmill
A little over twenty years ago, I learned something that I found utterly fascinating about two very distinct and unique animals – the Emu and the Kangaroo. One particularly distinct them about them that they shared (even though they were two different species) was that they were both indigenous to the Australian continent. Separate particularly unique qualities about these two was that the Emu was a bird that couldn’t fly, and the Kangaroo was the marsupial most people are aware of as having its very own built in “fanny pack” in its front, middle area.
Why are those contraptions called “fanny packs” when everyone I see wearing them wears them around their front and not their “fanny” – I mean, the zipper on the pack that enables one access to it for their money and whatnot would be difficult to get to while it’s on their “fannies,” but not difficult for pickpockets, etc.…well, anyway…
The thing I found most unique about these two animals from the “Down Under” place, was that in and of themselves or of their own volition; neither animal can move backwards – they could be propelled backwards by a separate force (wind, an aggressor, i.e., if two Kangaroos were fighting, one could shove the other backwards – I saw such a fight on television!) but apart from that, they’re incapable of moving backwards – they can only move forward.
Since learning that about them, they have become my favorite animals!
The ability to move forward (in humans…) is a natural progression of movement whether one walks or navigates via a wheelchair. Moving forward in life – our aspirations, dreams, goals, etc., should be our focus and purpose regardless of what’s happening in the news, the political landscape, whatever. And we shouldn’t let anything, especially anything negative, deter us from moving forward.
In 2014, I suffered an experience that was devastating to me both emotionally and spiritually. For several months I was virtually paralyzed by it – it consumed my thoughts so often that I was at a literal standstill from moving forward in and with my life. Thankfully, I eventually realized this and wriggled out of the quicksand this situation had become. After that, I had no intention of doing Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalk” to go back to it – I simply wanted to move forward from it. During the process, I learned that when something painful takes up residency in life, you can’t simply remove it without replacing it with something to occupy the space that pain once inhabited.
I was able to fill that space in with music. The group of teenagers I hung out with when I was one, all aspired to be musicians – we all did…not just any kind of musician though…we were greatly inspired by the great Jazz musicians of the day – John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk (and the list goes on).
I was reminded of that by my DAD, went out and bought a saxophone; now have three and am having an absolute ball growing in proficiency as a player! This replacement venue became medicinal and therapeutic for me to the point of positive progression!
We’ve got to move forward and continue to move forward in life as only and as best we can. Don’t limit yourself in the areas of hope, progress and what could be. Don’t succumb to debilitating circumstances regardless of what they may appear or seem to be. “Life is not about finding our limitations. It’s about finding our infinity.” (Herbie Hancock)
I’ve taken a page from the Emu and the Kangaroo about moving forward. Care to hop ahead with me?
© 2019 Paul Schneidmill All Rights Reserved