A Jazz saxophone player from New Orleans suffered a stroke that meant he could never play the saxophone again. His response: without that Sax in my mouth I can now sing! In the face of suffering, loss, pain and even death there are possibilities. We must simply train our brains to see these subtle openings and opportunities. Albert Camus wrote: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer”.
It might be even true to say that the invincible summer can only be realised through the darkest winter. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek”. Supposedly Joseph Campbell said that. What he really said was:
“It is by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble,
there lies your treasure.
The very cave you are afraid to enter
turns out to be the source of
what you are looking for.
The damned thing in the cave
that was so dreaded
has become the center.
You find the jewel,
and it draws you off.”