Friday, July 29, 2011

Falling down or Up - the Friday Challenge

My Friday Challenge is late today. I slept in. Not drastically late but until 8:30 - about two and a half hours past when I usually wake-up. 'And why is that?'my dear readers ask. Because, last night, on my way up the stairs to the bathtub which was filling with lovely lavender laced water, I tripped on my pants. It was one of those moments - my toe caught in the edge of my hem and I stumbled, cracking my shin as hard as it could be cracked without breaking, on the stair. My sweet patootie was in the shower and so didn't hear my cries and the step-dot was in her room, in a surly mood as she had been reprimanded for coming home late without letting us know, and in all fairness, probably had earphones on. I crawled up the rest of the stairs and into my bathing room. I took my clothes off and thought that a nice hot bath would be just the ticket when I noticed the GOOSE EGG on my leg. I watched it swell, people! Really. Horrified I hobbled into the bathroom next door where the SP was  happily scrubbing up and got his attention. He looked - his eyes popping out of their sockets when he saw my leg. "Can you move it?" he asked. I did and showed him. He said "it isn't broken. Go lie down immediately and I'll fetch ice and pain-killers" And he did. The pain was extraordinary. I tried working with it and noticing that it got worse if I felt sorry for myself and was really bearable when I cut the dramatics. I thought about how I feared physical pain but how it was always better than emotional pain, somehow. It has a reason and presumably one that you don't need to feel guilty about. And it is less awful than the moment or moments before you receive the blow  - when you are anticipating it.
Finally, I fell asleep - the SP having gone to the bed in the basement as his sleep is very precious and he didn't want either of us disturbing each other.
Today it is all fine. Really - a bit of lump and bruise on my shin - can't sit my meditation cushion like I usually do (like sitting a horse) but other than that - no problem. And I've been thinking of the reasons for and the lessons out of falling down (or up really) that I can take.  I was in a hurry. I wasn't in the moment on the stairs - I was already imagining the delight of the warm fragrant water and reading my book - my favourite thing in the world. And I've been working with anger - mine, all mine. I've been trying to see the edges of anger, the justification for it and how it jumps in when perhaps, I should be feeling sad, or scared instead. I've been trying not to leap into my righteousness about those who 'do me wrong' but instead get gentle with it. See what it is dependent on and therefore its ultimate emptiness. I had no one to get mad about when I tripped up. Just me and there didn't seem to be too much room for that. I also thought of how we have this moment - in my case, a moment of imagining a visit to emergency - the things I'd been looking forward to that I wouldn't be able to do if, indeed, I had broken my leg. I thought of when my SP fell at work a number of years ago - how one false move could have many many ramifications - how he'd had to not work for months and how long the healing took and then how it still (the pain) comes back. And how fragile we all are. And tough. In the same instant I had these thoughts. Everyday I chant the words 'death comes without warning' and know that means all sorts of death - death of a hope, of a plan, of a friendship. That we are all changing, shedding, growing and decaying at all times. That on Friday I didn't think about the fragility of an important person, dear Jack Layton, and on Monday I could think of nothing else. That I thought my daddio would live forever even while I wished him a good and quick death.
My challenge today is for all of us to examine something that has happened in the past little while - doesn't have to be a big deal thing - tripping certainly wasn't - and see what it is comprised of. Then check out your writing, if that is what you do, and see how you can use the myriad of possibilities from each action to enhance your story. If you don't write - then think about it in terms of what you plan to do next!


Elspeth Antonelli said...

Oh Jan, I feel your pain! I stubbed my toe about a month ago and the pain was fierce. I was sure it was broken as it swelled up and turned a most delicious purple hue. I hobbled for days. Surprisingly it was not the top story on the news. Sigh.

You're far wiser than I; looking into your reactions and seeing the bigger picture. I just knew my toe hurt and was busy cursing myself for my clumsiness.

GigglesandGuns said...

Sorry about your pain. Sounds like your nurse did a great job though.
The thing about physical pain, once it's gone it's difficult to remember it exactly so we let go of it a lot faster.
Emotional pain, that's a long lasting animal.

Carol Kilgore said...

I know how that hurt. I am the Klutz Queen. As to anger...a few years ago I decided I wasting a lot of precious time being angry at people and holding grudges. And let me tell you, I'm the Queen of Grudges as well. I'm still learning to let that go when it comes to me. But mess with my family? I haven't been able to let that go yet. I am trying. Really I am.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Oh no, that must have been awful! Especially the crawling up the stairs part. I'm glad you're feeling better today. The challenge is definitely something to think about. Thanks Jan and be careful! Julie

Anonymous said...

I do trip and walk into things. So I can totally relate. I laugh at myself when I do that. Why not? Everyone else is.

Cruella Collett said...

Ouch! I fell up the stairs once, and I can assure anyone interested that it is every bit as painful as falling down them. I had stair-shaped blueprints for weeks (and milk in my hair, since I was carrying to cartons of milk, that exploded. Not for weeks, though. It washed out).

You seem to handle it very well, though. You definitely deserved those extra hours of sleep!

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm so sorry that you had such a bad fall. I'm glad it wasn't a break. And even more amazing, you wrote an awesome prompt.