Choose the Portal

Those who have been reading my blog posts will be aware that my daughter was seriously injured in an accident last year. It interrupted my writing half-way through last year’s challenge, and it became something I reflected on in my writing this March as we passed the one year anniversary of her accident. I want to reassure you that she has made a wonderful recovery. Although no recovery from violent injury can be said to be complete- the body and the spirit are forever altered. Rumi wrote “the wound is where the light gets in.”

We have all been altered. Through this year of covid 19 quarantining and adjustments continuing and evolving, we have all been shocked, and grief-stricken, as well as constrained, anxious and bored. We have all been called upon to adapt, in ways large and small, whether we wanted to or not.

A good friend of my daughter’s sent her a quote and another good friend shortened it in a framed artwork: Choose the Portal. Every year of life has challenges and choices but we have felt them particularly keenly this year. Do we choose a spiral of bemoaning limitations, drenched in grief and isolation? Or do we find ways to live fully and completely whatever the circumstances; choose the portal. As I travelled though this year lived small I was moved to re-read some of Anne Frank’s diary.Her challenges and fears were far greater than ours, hiding in that attic, and in the end she didn’t survive. But she chose the portal, exhorting, “Think of all the beauty still left all around you and be happy.”

I think each of the March Slice of Life bloggers has chosen the portal. Chosen to live more fully, acknowledge beauty, face grief, reveal vulnerability. Find humor, too; take this life and shake it. I know writing and receiving comments from this loving community has helped me immeasurably this year. You have expanded my limited world and helped me grow. Donald Murray argues that writing is not escaping life, but rather experiencing it doubly. Writing with you all this month has given me a fuller, more complete life.

Facing my daughter’s bed, after the accident.

7 thoughts on “Choose the Portal

  1. Fran, this is so beautiful. First, so glad to hear of the wonderful recovery — may it continue. Both Murray and Graves were wise givers to those of us seeking to be writers. Your line at the end from Murray is spot on! It’s funny, because I quoted Graves to bring my reflection to paper!
    Again, here’s to your daughter, living life doubly, and completing the challenge!


  2. The wound is where the light gets in.

    What a perfect slice to end your month of amazing writing. Glad your daughter is (albeit not completely) recovered. Nice to share some slices with you and hope to cross paths again soon! 🙂


  3. I cannot put into words the inspiration of this post. Choosing the portal is not only hopeful, but places power within each of us. Your comments and your posts have nudged me to think a little more deeply, craft a little more cleverly. For that, I am forever thankful. Take care and see you in the portal again soon.


  4. Fran,
    This reflection is so lovely. It sums up so many aspects of our lives and nudges us all to use our superpower – choice. I am so glad I chose to come to Janney if only for that one year so I could meet you. I am so glad you chose to join this writing challenge 7 years ago. I’m so glad we chose to keep meeting and writing together. I know I am better for it. Thank you, my friend. I hope on the 11th you can come celebrate with me in the park. We have so much to celebrate!


  5. I don’t think I have read a single post this month that has been as inspirational as this one. I literally teared up and feel like I need to make my own sign. Continue to choose the portal and keep reminding other to do the same, I know I am going to be more aware of this for myself – I am so thankful I ran across this post.


  6. Wow! You ended the challenge with quite a thoughtful post. Were you saving the absolute best for last? I’m glad you were able to make it through a horrific year and still take up the challenge of writing about it. Thanks for the encouragement on my blog and for sending me off with some great words to live by: Choose the Portal!


  7. I think choose has been a significant word for me this year and so your post is very relevant, because it is all about making a choice, it cannot be made for you. So glad your daughter is much better and hope she will also recover from trauma and any other side effects of such an accident. Thanks for your thoughtful post and all the promise it holds for the future.


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