I have been injured lately. It's an old injury. Maybe not even that bad. I am beginning to realize that it was my fault for ignoring it for so long.
I love my job, but I'm applying for other jobs. I really enjoy teaching. Maybe it is all about stroking the ego. Maybe I like that I have a captivated audience of people who think I have my shit together. Although there are always a few who look at me with disdain, or if not disdain, apathy and maybe that is worse.
Still, I come home from the egotistical high of being a part of another human's growth in the world, and even my own growth, curl up with Chico and saturate in loneliness.
Three months ago I finally went to a foot specialist and found out my left foot, the medial sesamoid bone, was fractured. Most likely been that way for over a year. Then a woman called up, a woman I met many years ago in the middle of one my most injured times. Another injury I let fester inside of me. I am a person that tries to see patterns and break them. She called to say she wanted to come visit. All injuries forgotten. All broken parts ignored. All cautious techniques for healing cast out into the El Niño mud and snow.
I bought a house. It's a 1907 craftsman, fully remodeled except a few small things. The rooms are small, the floor a little uneven, the roof leaks, the faucet drips, and it's across the street from a homeless shelter (actually they provide meals twice a day and only a few rooms for women and children); however, that's me seeing the worst part of the house. Because the house has new siding, new windows, new HVAC, new appliances, a beautiful new cherry hardwood floor in the main room with rich dark hues to it, and an expansive front porch. My teacher says the feng shui is great for the house because of how high it sits and the ways the roads funnel towards it. It has been here a while and I like to imagine what it has seen.
When the woman arrived I was nervous, but excited. My martial arts teacher told me, like he always does, don't think about the color of tuxedo you will wear on your wedding night. This isn't new feedback from him. He constantly reminds me to feel my way into a fight. Don't try to think about moves. Feel your opponent and react. And I think I did, or I thought I did. Two weeks went by in a blur...surfing, snowboarding, paddle boarding, hiking, driving the coast, camping along California, her first time to the US. It ended with tears, and hopes, and fears, and realities.
Injuries must be dealt with. The CT scan came back and the doctor recommended surgery to remove the sesamoid. He says it won't heal. He said I should just get it done quickly, get on with healing, and I'd be surfing again by summer.
I don't handle injury very well. Perhaps it is all ego. For weeks now, I've wallowed in it. I talked with nurses, physician assistants, traditional healing experts, counsellors, and even old girlfriends. I don't like this feeling. I am broken and sick of being broken.
But, I made an appointment for a second opinion. My friends reach out to help. They have carried me often in my life. Friends are great for that. My martial arts teacher put his Kung fu medicine on it and for two weeks I wore a walking cast. He tells me that most of my injury is psychological. It barely hurt until I knew it was broken. He tries to absolve me of my brokenness and proclaims it healed. Tells me to return to life as normal. But I keep thinking about her. Injuries make you realize how tenuous sanity is in life.
The acupuncturist gives me turmeric and talks about giving yourself a space to heal; the physical therapist says your feet are so far from your heart and I am overworking each of them each day. He tapes it, gives me exercises.
My mom came to visit. Moms are great for timing in life. She helped me build some raised bed gardens and plant fruit trees. the Santa Rosa is a nod to my childhood. I patched the leak in the roof, put a bucket under the leaky faucet and use the water for the fruit trees, I built a three-stage compost bin, and I had a large metal garage installed on the property.
I go in for the second opinion and the orthopedic surgeon tells me that I am in no hurry to have the surgery. He says, to let pain dictate my choice. Let pain guide me. I have always wanted to be guided by love. I am beginning to think that love is measured on a spectrum of pain.
I moved my bed in my room to look north out the window to my neighbor's slightly crumbling wall; however, above and beyond it a tall redwood tree divides the sky. Sometimes in the morning I can watch the first golden swathes of the sun light upon the limbs. Sometimes a Cooper's hawk hunts from a high branch. Outside my window the neighbor's wisteria blossoms like grapes against a grey sky. And this morning, the Red Baron peach buds from one of the bare root trees has emerged into life.
I want to heal. But I also want to learn to live in a world that breaks.