People measure success of an amputee. They do. According to their own standard, as high or low as these just may be.
So they go and ask, "So, you are back to normal?" "Are you over it?" or "Have you overcome the disability?".
It is like their Golden Standard centers around the age of 24 to 30, and around the stuff one does when one is 24 to 30. I don't think it's a disability thing. It's a question of staying rooted in the Golden Standard Golden Age assumption. It is a late failure to evolve, in a way.
So I do get asked, "So, you'se back to normel?" (as they do ask using slang language).
And, well, hm. No, I am not back to normal and maybe I cannot and will not go back there. I can not, should not, will not and do not intend to go there.
To understand better, bear with me here. See, Sonny Landreth has always been one of my real idols. Hard to understand why - he is The Quintessential Slide Guitarist.
There are two songs in the last forty years that I heard - and after that, nothing was as it ever was before. One was Sonny Landreth's "Congo Square".
The other one was Yngwie J. Malmsteen's 1985 live recording of "Far Beyond The Sun" in a concert in Japan. No tricks, no double floor, no dubbing, no retakes. Pure ability. Whew.
As I have always enjoyed guitar playing, this obviously were mind blowing experiences. Needless to say, I also achieved some degree of proficieny. Not nearly as fast or deeply groovy - but cool enough for my taste and for my very modest effort.
Examples are here:
- http://www.swisswuff.ch/sounds/blues_demo.mp3 Deep River Blues improvisation.
- http://www.swisswuff.ch/sounds/bluegrass_demo.mp3 Bluegrass picking.
- http://www.swisswuff.ch/sounds/b3.mp3 Aria Les Paul Copy blues improvisation demo.
With all coolness and friendliness - this is not possible with the prosthetic. Muffling, graded picking, five finger picking - no way. So in a nutshell and also relating to other hobbies of mine - there is *no* going back.
Now, there are folks that say that "if you are an amputee and want it enough, there is NOTHING you cannot do". If you paid attention so far you will easily understand rationally and emotionally why that is utter nonsense. I mean, never has more Gibberish been said in such thoughtlessly short time. That sentence does not apply to over 40 year old guys that maximized bimanual hobbies to the max over the last 30 years of their existence. I am sure it applies to others but then must I remind you that you came here and whose blog is that? Alright.
Missing parts of an arm, the amount of activities one can *not* do is deliberately small or large and it contains a considerable number of stuff that literally defines a guy between the age of 24 and 30. Or that should define such a guy, or at least that has the capacity to provide such definitions. And there is absolutely no way ever you can achieve the same elegance and level of proficiency. Ever. Again.
But, that is not the question. Not to me.
The question is whether I stop evolving and keep holding on to my 24 to 30 year age group antics, generally and seeing as if I am headed towards higher age groups. Or whether I just let go, and do what I always did best - keep surfing along and see what's next. And so to the shock of some, no, I am not back to what I was before. Not totally. Not all the way.
The art is to find the right mix between re-centering yourself WHILE your center has shifted and keeps shifting. That's the problem and the solution at once.
And so I shifted my interests, maintaining and emphasising what I was always interested in doing - while exploring new activities. Obviously, exploration has its risks and side effects and not all stuff that is experimental ends up as a great success. But then that is the only way one finds out.
So, no I'm not "back to normal". I am busy establishing the new normal, and as that's a lot of work, I'm busy and caught up with that.