Ever since I fell down and broke my wrist and my ankle several weeks ago, everything feels breakable.
It’s one thing have an accident and break a bone or two when you’re younger but now that I’m 75 years old, everything feels terminal. A bleak way to look at the world, but one that I am settled with as my bones mend. With the cumbersome boot on my right ankle, I feel like Humpty Dumpty about to fall off the wall at any moment, and this makes moving around in the world, kind of an adventure, at, best, but I have to keep reminding myself. It is an adventure , just another in a long line of scary adventures, that must take place over seven decades. I say “must take place” because we all know that fear is a part of life, at least a part of a growing life. And even though we may not want it, growth is forced upon us. Life is growth. And the pruning a couple of my limbs lately, I hope will provide for lush growth. I’m counting on it.
I have become an object to be cared for over these past weeks and my dear husband has been a wonderful caretaker and nurse. I am grateful for him so now not only do I love him, but I have an acute awareness of how much I need him, and that in itself is another fear to face.
We go to bed each night looking forward to the refreshment of our spirit and our energy and we count on our sleep to give us just that refreshment. But this adventure with my left wrist and my right ankle, renders me a cartoon character that wakes up each morning wondering how I’m going to go to the bathroom. The entire process is a proper comedy sketch but then again life is a comedy and I do well to remember that.
But to look at it more realistically, we go to sleep, and we lose time. Sure we may spend those dark hours in a world of dream and fantasy-I’m usually in some large theater where I am performing a play. I have to get to the next entrance for.-but the truth is time flies when we slumber. And it is time we cannot get back and because of the opioids. I’ve been taking for pain, my slumber has been deep and I am glad for it. And I look forward to the day when these splints and boots are off my body so they can use it in my active life but if the truth be known ,my life now is more one of contemplation than activity. I would rather write away the hours. Or sit in a comfortable chair and read a good book then go roaming about the park, or yet another museum. Why do I feel like I’ve been to every museum in the world? Right now the wonders of pouring myself my own cup of coffee, more fascinating than any great art.
And I find that I do not have that much to say about the state of the world, except that we do all eventually break. We are all fragile shells that succumb to the pressures of time, of wear and tear, of sheer accident itself. Embracing the good of an accident is like trying to catch a falling star impossible. Yet something to be wished for. One must finally take one’s life in one’s arms ,the playwright Arthur Miller wrote …. That is kind of the point of it all. Embracing all that happens the good the bad, the the births, and the breaks is something we all need to cultivate skills for.
So as I lay here, wondering how I’m going to get dressed for my doctors appointment with the ankle guy, I strive to create a patch of cool ground , an intellectual and soft cushion, from which to proceed. I need to find the beauty in this day and so since finding the beauty creating the beauty have been my jobs for the past decades, I’m not going to quit now. I’ll hobble along until I can stride again.