Dax Cowart’s living lesson on transcending the most painful and challenging of hurdles
"Bad news travels like wildfire. Good news travels slow. They all call me Wildfire, ’cause everybody knows I’m bad news, everywhere I go. Always getting into trouble, and leaving [young women] that hate to see me go."
I first learned about that great "Wildfire" Johnny Cash song when Dax Cowart would sing it to the crowd at the 1995 Trial Lawyers College.
Dax is one of my favorite people from the Trial Lawyers College. On the one hand, I prefer to think of Dax for himself, not for any physical handicaps. On the other hand, Dax has travelled extensively telling his story about being burnt all over his body in 1973, and he has transcended the hellish ordeal of feeling skinned alive during doctors’ forced efforts to treat him when he refused medical treatment and insisted on dying. I share some of his story here.
In 1973, Dax and his father got caught in an explosion when they started their car, without knowing that there was a gas leak present. His father died on the way to the hospital. Dax asked the first-arriving person for a gun to end his suffering. The man said he could not do that. The hospital accepted his mother’s decision to have his injuries treated — and the hospital ultimately removed his eyes against his will, too –even though Dax insisted on the opposite. Dax already was a full-grown adult. Read more about Dax’s ordeal and transcendence here.
Thanks to the listserv member who posted a new YouTube video of Dax reciting his poem "Dance of Life". And what a dance it is.