(Prince Hal in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part One; Falstaff (a brilliant character) is a rather portly Gentleman…)
We are all like a snail, slowly moving through life from moment to moment. As we proceed towards an unknown destination, we leave a trail behind us; the things we have done, the people we have met, the mistakes we have made and the good that we have created. The trail that Falstaff "lards" the earth with is both a hazard and nourishment for those who encounter him. Such is life. Wherever we end up, we leave behind us a trail that can instruct those who come after us.
“Ay, of a snail, for though he comes slowly, he carries his house on his head…”
(Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It)
We are all like a snail, carrying the person we inhabit, the “house” we own, in our heads. We can decorate our interior with ideas and by learning we can build extra rooms to extend our houses. Sometimes this can be a heavy burden and we bow our heads:
“And shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school…”
(Jaques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It)
Or knowledge and understanding can lift us up and protect us:
“But I can tell why a snail has a house… to put’s head in - not to give it away…”
(The Fool in Shakespeare’s King Lear)
In our encounters with Parkinson’s (or any difficulty) we can learn from our own trail as we look back or by looking around us we can see the journey of others and be inspired. This helps to develop the house we live in to protect us from the difficulty and to learn to live with and alongside ourselves.