Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pity Party Wallow

Okay, so I fell again a few minutes ago. A small fall, resulting in what will no doubt be some ugly bruising on my arm and knee. The good news is each fall has been smaller than the one before. The bad news is I continue to fall. More good news, I still bounce and bruise rather than break. More bad news, I hurt a LOT more than I used to.

This fall was a mere nothing. I was on my knees - yes, knees, apparently you can fall from a kneeling position, too - having just scooped the cat box, which requires me to be on my knees, since it's tucked into the ONLY available corner of the house behind the bathroom door. Fine. Odious job done, bag of used litter in hand, I reached up and leaned my OTHER elbow on the sink edge for leverage in getting up. But it slipped off and bang! I fell over, hitting my upper arm and knee on the way. More good news - the cat litter stayed in the bag and the bag didn't break, either. I pulled myself together, got up, hurting a LOT, and then the sheer, desperate, hopelessness of the whole thing hit me - aGAIN. I don't know how to fix this, how to get back to my old self, who was strong and powerful and could overcome any obstacle. I suddenly feel old and frail and scared. I ask myself, "Only old people I truly old enough for this to be a normal thing, all this falling? this lack of control? this feeling of power lost?" And if it is, if I truly AM in a real decline, not just some temporary one, what. is. the. point.? What frakking value do I serve by continuing to consume the resources of this planet? How, to use my father's best-remembered maxim, am I making the world a better place because I'm here?

I'm just indulging in a solid wallow in self-pity, partially because of the above, and partially because V suggested I wasn't thinking about where I was putting my feet or what I was doing when I was getting up. After feeling incredible frustration over his words, I screamed "This is NOT my FAULT!" and then told him to leave me the hell alone. I mean, come ON... If I have to expect 20 years ahead of me of needing to actually focus on and THINK about where my foot/hand/etc. is going in the next second and the next and the next, then I have HAD it this round. Check, please.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slowly Slogging Back Into the Light

I've been absent from view for awhile now, mostly due to some monumental incidents and changes in my life. Sloooowly, I am making my way back.

I suppose an explanation is in order, in spite of my preference for simply moving on and not lingering over the miserable moments of my life.

It all started in July, when I fell from V's sailboat. Well, actually, I took a flying swan dive off the boat and onto the quite large metal cleat on the raised-edge dock we were rapidly sliding into. My intent was to jump nimbly onto the dock, rope in hand to secure Vixen. Which, of course, I could easily have done in my twenties or even my thirties. Apparently, my fifties aren't my most nubile decade. Well, duh. You see, when I look in the mirror these days, I find I'm always surprised by the face I see, as I still feel like the beautiful young woman of a couple decades ago. No matter (she said with a dismissive wave of her hand).

Transcending Form (2009)
Jesse Hotchkiss

As Vixen slid into place, I jumped toward the dock, tripping over the toe rail in the process, changing my trajectory in the process to one of impending doom. I managed to land - HARD - on my left chest, then slide backward, grabbing the dock rail as I did. A young man who works with V happened to be right there on the dock, and he grabbed me as I slid backward, so between us, I didn't drop completely into the water. As I dangled there and he tried unsuccessfully to hoist me up, seven tons of unmoveable fiberglass continued to move toward the dock. Yeah, not a good scenario for my relatively fragile body. The good news in all this is that V is a master of docking (and all other sailing bits), and he managed to fend Vixen off and keep me from being crushed. Meanwhile, the dockside lad and I worked together to get my body hauled up onto the dock. Fast forward an hour and you'd find me in the hospital in terrible pain, getting scans and other tests. It turned out "all" I did was to bruise ribs, lungs, and spleen, and after a number of hours they sent me home with massive painkillers.

For about a week, I couldn't move without screaming in pain, but eventually I started getting a bit better. After three weeks, I finally felt good enough to attempt to paddle around a bit in a kayak. Still in some pain, the twisting motion particularly exacerbated the injury, so I headed back in and waited for V while he paddled about for awhile longer. As I sat on the log, the tide started coming in and lifted my kayak too much for my comfort, so I decided to go pull it in a bit. Standing on a log, I pulled the kayak up further onto the beach, but when I stopped pulling my screwy balance and the sand between my feet and the log caused me to fall backward between the logs. My body hit sand, not log,s and I thought I had gotten incredibly lucky. Nope. The very next second the back of my head hit the adjacent log so hard a fellow standing next to his car some thirty feet away thought someone had set off a firecracker, but realised rapidly that I had fallen and rushed over to help. I was in trouble, and I just lay there and cried. V finally returned from his kayaking sojourn, and once again I found myself in the hospital.

Now you'd think that was enough to make me far, far more careful, right? And you'd be right. But you'd be wrong if you thought those two near catastrophes were the end of the story. For, you see, I have continued to fall. The last fall was a couple of weeks ago, when I slipped descending the stairs in the companionway of Vixen, badly bruising my back and arm.

Three Ways, Two Fall (2009)
Jesse Hotchkiss
I have mostly recovered from the first two falls, which took a toll that forced me to withdraw from the computer entirely, my volunteer work, my beloved art, and on and on.

But there's a second part to my absence. In August, I changed residences, and my studio was packed into boxes and put into storage without my knowledge of the what or where of everything. So now, as energy allows, I dig out a little more. I know where my Copic markers and my watercolours are, some of my paper has been unearthed, and of course my wonderful yarns never left my side. Hey, I had to do SOMEthing while on the mend or I would've gone mad.

My favourite news in all this is that my mind is intact, something that was of some concern for a very brief while. My body's given me fair warning that it's changing, and I need to both work it a little harder in order to gain strength and better balance, and be more intentional in my movements. Through all this I keep in mind that I am my father's daughter, so the strength is within me to tap, I just have to be more focused in my efforts.

So now it's Fall, and I hope my last fall is behind me. Not my last Fall, you understand, but the last time I fall. Convoluted. But you get my drift. :-)