I don’t think I have a hero. [i] Except perhaps for Terry Fox, held up as a hero by every Canadian. The Marathon of Hope was like nothing the world had seen, and I think that was perhaps true of Terry as well.
He died on June 28, 1981. I was just twelve as he ran his way across Canada. He’d been, up until his death, someone I admired greatly, someone whose movements we followed via the paper and evening news, someone whose success I longed for. He only became heroic in death. Death is one of the requirements for heroism. At least if you do it literaturily right. [ii]
There are people I admire for this quality or that one, but they aren’t my heroes. Partly because they aren’t perfect, and I’m ridiculously demanding that way, and partly because they still have pulses.
I wasn’t going to follow the Bloganuary prompt today. I’d considered two possible plans of attack: skip prompt six entirely, potentially groundbreaking considering my anxiety’s commitment to doing things “right,” or use the prompt as a segue to write about something else.
I was hoping for the latter; I’ve been percolating a piece on antidepressants and Robert Frost. Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of that piece on Kegels and ear wax.
It’s not that I’m not keen on Bloganuary: I’m very keen. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment very much. But it snowed last night, fifteen centimetres on top of the twenty lying about, and a further ten-ish plus some freezing rain is on the way. Snow removal became instantly imperative. Unfortunately, that leaves me starting the day several hours behind.
I don’t like it when things work out that way. I think I’ll argue some with reality.
And although my shoulders are sore, getting out early to shovel let me watch drivers unprepared for reality spin out in the cul-de-sac. And I got to work out my glutes with my snowplow imitation. [iii]
I dropped down and made a snow angel in the front yard when I was done: I’d forgotten that snow on your face is cold. I have a rosy glow sans Revlon today.
I’ve been applying Revlon regularly, as it happens. Their translucent powder is to die for. I dust it on after finishing the 32,000 steps of moisturizing and priming that now take place, give or take 31,995.
It feels like a lot, anyhow. I have to wait a minute between each step for full efficacy. It’s like, six minutes. Nine, including teeth (I floss).
I bet JLo doesn’t complain. I bet JLo has more money in her bank account and doesn’t buy her manuka honey serum from Winners. Still, she remains a bit of a hero of mine. Not an “all the way hero,” what with the not being dead, but there are bits and pieces I admire enough to want to emulate.
For instance: she’s fierce. She runs her show, and she doesn’t appear to put up with much in the way of crap. She doesn’t apologize for taking up space or using the valuable oxygen. She owns her femaleness and her sexuality without fear. I like all of these things. [iv]
I like Ryan Reynolds, too, though I’m not seeking to copy his look. I like his snark and the sweet soul it hides. I admire his generosity of spirit and the grace he seems to have in abundance. I have a mental list of all the reasons why grace is easier for him than for me in my head, but since it reads a lot like an “it’s not my fault” whine, it’s going to get ignored.
I’ve had some blows in the last little bit, and suppressing the pain has forced me to be all kinds of angry, something I don’t like: it’s time to gut up and start acting like someone I like again. In my new “I resolve not to be a doormat but to practice good boundaries” kind of way.
I like people who get up again. I admired that quality in the late Betty White: she wasn’t much of a quitter. Neither is my mom. I’d say neither is my dad, but he doesn’t even acknowledge obstacles. That’s not a good thing.
Or people like Antoine Leiris, who refused to give the terrorists who murdered his wife the satisfaction of his hate. He would raise his son with love, he wrote in an open letter, to her life. He would not waste thought on those who committed violence.
I admire those who face the ugliness that’s so often the human species but don’t break.
I admire those who remain committed to the light, even as I feel myself drift to shadow, just that tiny bit.
And despite the list of celebrities, it’s not really about them. They’re in a position to be seen, and so when one thinks about certain qualities, they spring to mind as exemplars. It’s the qualities they’re perceived to possess that I admire, not the people themselves in a personal way.
So, not one, but many. And not heroic, save for Betty White, but admirable in a world that sometimes makes that hard. [v]
[i] Grammarly hates the word “really,” but I’m leaving it this time. Really (I caved, but I added one later. I think Grammarly was too busy being horrified by the “actually” I subsequently removed).
[ii] Not a word. Yet.
[iii] My arthritic hips are unimpressed. I believe they wept as I sank into the Epsom salt bath. Needs, however, must.
[iv] The link is to an old post. I haven’t double-checked it so the editing is likely subpar. Look at me being all “que sera sera” about possible imperfections.
[v] Of course, if I were to include the fictitious, then Lt. Ripley and Sarah Connor would fill hero slots two and three. Terry Fox will not be displaced.