What comes to your mind when you think about ‘horror’?
Real events? Fictional movies or books?
There are people who like the idea of being ‘horrorised’. The most amazing person I ever met was a lady in Buchholz north of Hamburg with a locked-in syndrome whose favourite movies are horror movies. The people in the institution she lives in worked really hard and enlisted the help of researchers from Kiel University to use an Emotiv device (a kind-of simple version of an EEG device developed for computer game playing using just your thoughts) to allow her to switch through the channels on her TV until she found a horror movie.
One particular horror movie is, in reality, the biggest, most-fun, and bizarre party-movie of all times. And today, it’s the 40th anniversary of the first ever screening of it in London. I’m talking about, of course, the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
There are many things you can say about this movie. You might, in fact, not like it at all. In my mind, it’s the essence of what can happen to you if you are literally thrown into the midst of the most unusual circumstances.
The poor, newly engaged couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss find themselves lost and with a flat tire on a cold and rainy late November evening seeking a telephone in a nearby castle and discover a group of strange and outlandish people who are holding the Annual Transylvanian Convention. What follows is sheer madness. Rocky is brought to live and Eddie rides out of a deep freeze on a motorcycle. And this is just the beginning. In the end, the whole castle turns into a rocket and lifts off into the universe.
One of my favourite lines is: “I’m here. There’s nothing to worry about.”
What’s the point of all this? None, I suppose, for many people. For myself, it’s an example of sheer senseless letting-it-all-out and enjoying yourself as much as you can, even in the strangest, most unexpected circumstances. To live your life to the fullest and celebrate it! There are no real horrors. Being horrorised can be uplifting and give you the deepest and most valuable experiences of your life.
Today, Pádraig had the last visit by his carer and by his physio before our departure to Pforzheim. It’ll be a long break from all that has been going on here in Hamburg. The time in Pforzheim will hopefully give Pádraig a big boost while also giving us some time to think and plan the next steps.
The amazing thing is that Pádraig is really ready for the next step. Just some months ago, when we were talking to the people in Pforzheim, we were not sure how ready Pádraig would be to start on such an intensive programme of therapy this summer. Now, he is. And I am sure that with his stubbornness and determination to do the impossible he’ll surprise us all. Yet again.
There are no scary horrors in life unless you allow yourself to get scared. Horrors are the unexpected. The unknown. The uncontrollable. The unforeseeable. They can stun you, they can scare you, they can damage you – if you let them. Or: you can take them on, confront them, take them as experiences that help you pushing out your boundaries, leaving your comfort zone, and becoming a stronger person.