Sunday, March 17, 2013


I remember distinctly the first time I scraped my knee. I was running on the path beside lake Como and my toe caught on a bump, catapulting me forward, my right knee the first point of contact on the gravel. I got up clumsily as my parents ran to my aide. Dad picked me up and as I attempted to wriggle out of his arms, ready to start running again, I noticed the hideous cut that now adorned my knee. I started to cry. I remember them telling me "It looks worse than it is." The were right, but I continued crying anyway.

When we are young, we have these experiences, as we come into this world unhindered by negative possibility, open and unafraid. I jumped into the pool with no water wings on and almost drowned. I burnt myself on a hot toaster oven. I rode my bicycle down a flight of stairs. The list is endless. Each time we encounter pain, shock, anxiety, fear; we learn. We attempt the next time with a little more caution, more awareness, conscious of the possible consequences. It is from these occurrences that we grow. With each scraped knee or close call our realities widen. And gradually as we grow older the superficiality of these experiences shift inward. The necessity of remembering a bike helmet becomes the importance of guarding ones spirit against cruelty. The broken skin replaced with broken hearts.

It is in the healing period provided by the anguish, the fear, the sorrow, when our bodies, our hearts, and our spirits have somehow been scraped or bruised, that we are shaped. Creativity and sensitivity and intuition. It is in these transitional periods that we start to ask questions. Why? How? And the answers are provided from within. Often helplessness and hopelessness transform into realizations that the only thing we have control over in this life is our own perceptions, thoughts, and actions. Everything else will swirl unpredictably around us.

I  feel tightness in my chest. Anxiety, maybe. I have never more viscerally felt a broken heart. But each moment is a stitch. Each breath taken instead of relinquishing to tears, each word written in my journal rather than in a text message, each torturous step taken away from him; my pain alleviates. I chose to love this time for once with all my intelligence. Adrienne Rich's words are my bandaid, my water wings, my helmet, my meditation.

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