Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles with warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Julie Andrews will always be remembered for singing “My Favorite Things” in The Sound of Music, but I like John Coltrane’s soprano sax jazz classic of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved song. Coltrane not only “covered it,” he adapted it, re-interpreted it, imbued it with richly diverse colors and unexpected rhythmic twists. He reinvented it. He did with a soprano sax and a song what many of us have managed to do with our changed bodies and our lives.
One of my favorite activities has always been swimming, but since becoming paralyzed, floating in a cocoon of pure relaxation is even better. Lying on my back with my arms stretched over my head and letting the water support my body stretches my spine in an almost orgasmic way. Gravity disappears, my breathing slows, and my purpose is to be still, nothing more. Under the right conditions, a swimming pool can become a meditation chamber.
Then there’s a different kind of pool. During my 16-week rehabilitation so many years ago, I learned I could adapt my pool shooting technique. Sighting in on the cue ball and my target from table level, circling the table nimbly and quickly on wheels, using the rails for propulsion and checking all the angles, I improved on my “able-bodied” game of eight ball. Put that on the list of my favorite things.
And driving. Just driving has become one of my most e