I have been contemplating the state of normal lately…actually what constitutes normal. This contemplation began with the physical therapist – “a leg should normally have this range of motion…” – and so on and so on – yeah – I got the point – my body was not behaving “normally”. However – if my body has been in this range of motion for over 45 years – wouldn’t going back to the “normal” range of motion be abnormal for my body? If I learned anything from all the disabled artists that I have worked with – the body adapts and creates new paths – and if that is so – then why bother to be normal? What the hell is normal?
The term “normal” is all around us. Sometimes it is a good thing – like when you think you are going insane and somebody says to you “What you’re feeling is normal”. In those moments there is an inner sigh of relief – your mind is not disintegrating – your emotions are normal – there is someone like you – everything will be OK. For me however – normal has rarely been a term that I have liked. Maybe it’s a result of training in a profession where you always need to excel. Then again – in school – the preferred grade was an “A” not an average “C”. So – my question to my friends and colleagues is what does “normal” mean to you? Here’s my list so far. Maybe between all of us – we can define a new normal.
Normal is what your parents wanted you to be so that you wouldn’t stand out, wouldn’t be picked on, wouldn’t be made fun of.
Normal is safe.
Normal is no imagination.
Normal is the mid-point in between insanities.
Normal pretends to be grey when it is actually black and white.
Normal seeks no new knowledge.
Normal necessitates comparing yourself with others.
Normal means staying on the well-traveled path.
Normal is to be part of the faceless pack.
Normal is not inclusive.