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!