Thursday, June 02, 2005
After the Fall.
So there I was, walking in nature as I have been advised to do by so many people, and it’s something I really love anyway, watching the bees pollinate the bright yellow flowers, sensing the butterflies’ wings flutter by, and feeling - dare I say it? - almost enlightened? And I bent down to pick up a butterfly's wing on my path, admiring its ephemeral beauty as I walked down the steepest path of the Botanical Gardens as I have done so many times before. I just begin a pleasant day dream when suddenly my left leg is stretched out underneath me at a most painful angle, and I can't feel a thing in it, and I have a sinking knowledge that not being able to move it means I am in big trouble. And I’ve been walking on my own of course if you don't count my dear dog Cassie who is sorely in need of lessons from Lassie. And now I am badly hurt. So badly hurt that it takes all the girding up of my loins - which are usually pretty well girded anyway - just to get back up onto my feet again. And it takes even further girding to hobble from foot to foot down the path which, for the first time ever, seems interminable. The pain makes me cry in anger a number of times, and I pass a number of men scraping leaves together in a self absorbed fashion, and I try to hide behind the dark glasses so that they can't see how I am crying. Of course, they think my hobble, hobble, shout at the dog to stop pulling at the lead (which makes me land on my incredibly sore foot), is the way I usually walk through the gardens. And I can't help wondering why, whenever I feel on top of the world, this time literally, I fall flat on my... back! And I also can't help wondering if all those old wives tales about pride going before a fall and so on are really true and is someone trying to tell me something? But then I think of the Buddhists' way and I think I must not make any more of this than what it is. It is what it is. And I must just adjust and adapt. And even though I was supposed to start rehearsals today for my play which is going to Grahamstown I will just have to start a day later and be one of those directors who sits on a chair when she directs. And even if it takes a little longer to get the play to where I want it, I will still get it there. And after a day in which I spent some time in a wheelchair at Casualty as well as learning to walk with crutches to survive the next few weeks, I have renewed and infinite respect for people who are disabled. Everything is just that much harder when you can’t move properly and independence is a rare feeling. Perhaps, as a friend put it, this fall was from grace into humanity, to remember how hard it is for some people to get by.