Due to chronic illness, my world has become smaller on many levels. It is the opposite of those Russian dolls which were popular when I was young, where the more layers you uncover, the smaller the doll becomes. Now I find all attempts to expand my world lead to an ever bigger cage.
The first cage is my mind, which is limited by what I see with my eyes. I often think I cannot see enough things – by standing on tip toe from the attic of our house, I can see the Alps and a stretch of Lake Geneva. From any window I can see trees and the garden. But I long to feast my eyes on the views from a coastal path, or a mountain track or a country road. I can no longer read a book. From a very young age I loved to lose myself in books and reading led to both learning and discovery. That is no longer possible and so my discovery is limited to what I can myself imagine – just not enough.
The second cage is my body, constantly battling with poor balance which limits my physical movements and any form of exercise. I used to love to walk the dog and swim, ski and hike. Now I can perhaps stroll around our small town for quarter of an hour on a good day. Just not enough.
The third cage is my bedroom – four walls which I try to hold still by force of mind when confined to bed with vertigo. It is comfortable and warm and all it should be but…it is just not enough. And the fourth cage is our house and garden, which are beautiful and large and I am lucky – but they are just not enough.
I know what is beyond all these cages and it is tantalizingly close. I continue to search for something which might open the doors of my cages one by one.