Melpomene, The Muse of Tragedy, is the songstress of suffering, sorrow, and
sweet laments. Some call her the "goat singer". Actually the word tragedy
is believed to be derived from the Greek word tragoidia, which
means "goat song". The first tragedies were myths danced and sung by a chorus
dressed in goatskins. For Melpomene, even though there was tragedy, the tragic
life was the life not fully lived. She understood that although the world is
full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it. Melpomene embraces the
premise that humanity can be elevated even when there is tragedy.
We all have encountered situations that have broken us in a million
pieces--no matter what we do, we can't avoid it. The key to moving on is
finding what is left of you after a tragedy and rebuilding. Does it mean that
you have forgotten that you were almost destroyed? No, you never forget what
could have ultimately slayed you--it just means you move forward with the
knowledge that the pain didn't break you but it took you to another level.
To be afflicted with a tragedy causes everything to come into question.
Whether we are in a hospice situation, a homeless shelter, an emergency room, a
senseless civil war, the abuse and murder of an innocent child, long term
unemployment, and the list goes on--we all know our own personal tragedies
intimately. And we have all been in that place where the pain is
debilitating--we are lefted numbed, paralyzed, controlled and shocked. At those
times we are no longer useful to ourselves nor to others. We want the pain to
go away, but it remains for what seems like an eternity. The snake of tragedy
bites and its venon runs through our entire being...at that point, we are sure
death is imminent and there is nothing we can do about it.
Remember Christopher Reeve? Superman on the big screen but also
superman in real life--especially as it relates to his personal tragedy. Actor
Christopher Reeve, who was paralyzed from the neck down, demonstrated enormous
courage and creativity in his commitment to change the course of spinal injury
research. He showed us that spiritual victory can be gained in spite of what
looks like a physical or circumstantial defeat. And honestly sometimes there
are people waiting in the wings for defeat to happen, but when your heart
emerges from its broken state, the new heart will be bigger and better and its
impact greater than you can ever fathom and no one will be able to stop the
momentum. So what is the next step? I don't know but you do and I encourage
you to take that step and as you do, declare--"I'm still here and I'm still
standing". This is Tuesday talk--I hope you heard me.
©2011 Theda Okona All Rights Reserved