Shame and honour clash where the courage of a steadfast man is motley like the magpie. But such a man may yet make merry, for Heaven and Hell have equal part in him.
Wolfram von Eschenbach
Parzival is a medieval German poem written in the 13th century. It’s hero is the Arthurian knight, Parzival (Percival in English) and his long quest for the Holy Grail following his initial failure to find it.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I chose this quote for the last post of the year, as it sums up 2015 for me. I’ve been on a quest seeking many holy grails: a recovery in health, to walk properly again, relief from pain, to undertake a long bushwalk, to swim from Palm Beach to Manly, to leg-press my body weight, and to reach resistance level 15 on a bicycle. Some of these goals have still not have achieved. My overarching goal – to once more go snow-skiing – remains unrealised. Still, I’ve committed to the mountains once more. Flights and accommodation are booked for three weeks sking in Montana and Utah beginning mid-February next year. Destiny awaits. What will be will be.
Like all human beings, I am like Parzival, seeking that most elusive grail, the cup of happiness. Parzival was seeking spiritual fulfilment and I am too. I’m not there yet. As this year closes and a new one opens, I have survived a challenge built around enduring ceaseless pain and loneliness. Life should not be just about endurance. It should be larger than that. But to live a fulfilled life you have to do start by enduring. I’ve done that.
In three weeks, it will be a year since I broke my leg at Revelstoke in Canada. I couldn’t say it’s been an easy year, but despite all the ups and downs, I have made as good a recovery as could be expected. So roll on 2016. It may be a great year.
Shame and honour. Like Parzival, my life resembles the magpie, some black, some white, some good some bad.
Like him, I may yet make merry.