A very wise man said to me a few weeks ago “slow down, take your time – or you’ll burn out.”
I admit I’ve heard this many times before; my version of patience allows for a fully streamlined perfect execution gliding gracefully into a deadline – no screwing around or wasting time once the decision(s) have been made.
Had he (or anyone else) admonished “slow down, don’t do everything – or you’ll break something,” it may have caught me off-guard just enough to take a couple eyeblinks in consideration.
‘Cause in the blink of an eye Saturday morning, I lost functionality of my right arm. A freak accident on the soccer fields, my five year olds laughing through my starry-eyed daze. Hours later, it was declared I’d broken my arm in two places, smashed my elbow to smithereens, and disrupted the delicate musculature of my shoulder. And so I was immobilized and provided sleep courtesy of a narcotic bouquet.
Today the appointment with the orthopedic specialist was serious. My career with the piano may be officially over and in two weeks, I will return to have more photos taken (x-ray and MRI) along with a determination as to whether surgical intervention is necessary to reset the bones from my hand to my shoulder. In the interim, a soft splint from my knuckles to armpit, a lightweight design to allow the shoulder to heal, but with the determination of molded fiberglass locking my hand, wrist, and elbow into stationary place.
Then it was home to sleep through the trauma and its slow tedious repair.
A particular sadness has swept through me to the tune of “this is what it takes – still?” Bodily trauma has been my wake-up call again and again – and again and again. Now that I look at up to twelve weeks (!) of healing followed by therapy, now that each and every action I take has attention and purpose, I have an overriding need to determine whether purpose and action align elsewhere in life. Frieda Kalho evaded depression by painting. I avoid the same with writing. Now that it takes me longer to physically write or type the words, what will happen to my frenetic style as I now have several blinks of consideration before the word fully forms or appears? Add the strengthened desire to write despite the exceptional pain, however modulated, and suddenly I’ve developed a new (improved?) voice and style. With that, can we expect new (and improved?) action and purpose?
Time will tell.