Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.
Where does the canvas end? Alexa Meade's TEDTalk "Your Body is My Canvas" shows how a canvas can be more than a plain-woven fabric stretched over a wood frame. Alexa discovered a gift for extending her canvas to the subject itself. But what if we started to zoom out and saw the world from an ever higher altitude? Would these objects keep shrinking, eventually revealing an infinite canvas?
As a writer, I love a good story. I love them so much that I want my own life to be one. You could say that my life is my canvas. I don't need to concern myself with where the canvas ends, because when it does I will cease to exist. And if you believe, like I do, that life is about decisions, then each decision is like a brush stroke. Some brush strokes are minor details like what I want to eat for breakfast this morning. Other decisions are much broader, like when I asked my girlfriend to marry me the day after her neurosurgeon gave her two years to live.
I couldn't control the medical reality, but I could control how I wielded my love for her. After all, love is a weapon. -- Ryon Harms
I wasn't conscious of it at the time, but I wanted to be Prince Charming riding into the castle to slay the dragon and save my damsel in distress. I couldn't control the medical reality, but I could control how I wielded my love for her. After all, love is a weapon. I wanted the story to be that our love saved her life. So we got married the following year and spent another 10 years madly in love with each other. To a large degree our love succeeded -- just not happily ever after. No matter how bravely I fought.
My wife was a deeply spiritual person who believed that each of us has a supernatural gift (a sixth sense), but we stop listening to it as we grow in society. She even helped me discover my own gift: the ability to picture a future state so clearly in my mind that I can actually make it a reality. She called it a "mock up" of the future. I used that gift to imagine a world where we had a child together, even when her doctors said it wasn't possible. Before she died she gave birth to my beautiful and brilliant daughter.
Witnessing my daughter's miraculous birth and then the death of my wife soon after forced me to contemplate my own mortality. I asked myself, if I died tomorrow, what would I regret? Only one answer surfaced. I needed to write the remarkable love story that brought my daughter into the world. One day she might need to understand why she grew up without a mommy.
Tomorrow isn't promised, so I quit my happy life, escaped Los Angeles with my daughter, and moved to South America to give myself the space to write a memoir. But when I arrived, I realized that what I had really done was to write myself into a whole new life story. I mocked up a future where I could be the writer I always wanted to be. Except this time, I'm not concerned if the story has a happy fairytale-like ending. I have experienced enough to become conscious of my gift -- turning life into an infinite canvas.
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