the day started like any other: good mornings, goodbyes, breakfasts, boys to school, mere to work, emails, deadlines and busy business. the afternoon carried on as usual: chores, wood, compost, dinner prep, and laundry. river lay on the floor as i dropped blankets and sheets down on him from the loft above, his laughter was buried in a pile of laundry waiting to be folded.
i had just reveled in the fact that the Scorpio new moon had royally kicked my ass the weekend before. and i was willing and ready for this monday to be a clean start. a do-over. with the crisp air of fall weighing down on our lungs, our to-do list of winter preparation hung before us, forcing a frantic pace.
and i hate that. the frantic pace. if anything, witnessing a sugar buzz or ADHD or overstimulation or short attention spans or hyperactivity… makes me stubbornly dig in my heels and s . l . o . w . d . o . w . n . . . a personal revolt and yanking back of the reins from the hands of spastic uncontrollable energy.
but that’s a side note, you see, because i can look back now with hindsight and see that the universe had a much different plan for me that week. or this week. and next week too, now that i think of it in the big picture.
because after tossing down that laundry, with a smile on my face, i proceeded to slip and fall down our stairs, hurting my hand (burning my skin trying to hold onto the railing) my back (bouncing all the way down on hardwood) and my foot (landing funny i’m sure with a loud thud.) later, from the floor where i lay flat on my back i realized that the throbbing in my foot was not normal and when i ripped off my sock i saw my toes bent off in different directions. ack! broken toes!
i’ve been hurt very badly in previous years. but the last time i broke a bone was when i was in the third grade. it seemed like a phenomena that year, at that age, every one i knew seemed to have a broken bone. (i look at the two third graders in our house now with a bit more caution, as they hit growth spurts and figure out body and depth perceptions.)
i realize now that i needed to slow down. (and not wear socks on the staircase) and two broken toes is, in fact, a wake up call to slowing down. literally: hobbling. our toes bring us balance. so i find it curious to think of how out of whack i became that week while giving my body time and space to heal my bones. it had a definite emotional reaction for me.
i mentioned, late one night when i felt particularly vulnerable and weak, that it’s hard for me to accept help. to admit defeat. to not be able to do it on my own. and the concept of broken bones creating something broken within me came to my mind. now of course, this makes sense. physically, yes. but what i had not considered what how a broken bone energetically effects the human body. there’s a crack. a fracture. and in a body that keeps things compartmentalized (like i do with deadlines, personalities, death, and everyday ordinariness) that break makes room for things to slip out.
and honestly, this control freak finds that thought unsettling. i compartmentalize these things for a reason… so i can continue going about my day without the feeling of overwhelm. i put on my game face to grocery shop and put on a smile to steer myself in positive directions with outside chaos. (ever wonder why my photographs are so tidy? so organized? so neat? because i can control it, because i can make it so… and by doing so, it makes me happy.) there are things in life i must control, because i know the truth. and the truth is: so much of what we experience in our life is out of control. i compartmentalize so i can choose when to dive deep into the face of something unpleasant or difficult.
it takes a tremendous amount of trust to know that work for a freelancer will come each month. it takes a tremendous amount of trust to know my mother will slip peacefully from this world to the next with the care and medicine provided by hospice nurses, it takes a tremendous amount of trust to guide and navigate relationships between brothers from other mothers, it takes a tremendous amount of trust to just be in the moment and put one foot in front of another to carry us to the next moment.
while working from my bed that week, with my foot propped up to reduce swelling, i came across this lecture by charlie kaufman that i remembered watching last year. i found a short film created by his lecture, condensed down to the most profound five minutes of his speech… and i found it quite fitting.
for all the brokenness. for me and for you. for vulnerability and navigating outside chaos. this is what i have to offer.