Down and Slightly Out

There is a Shell Silverstein poem I love (actually there are a lot of Shell Silverstein poems I love but I am thinking of one in particular right now); I think it is called ‘it’s rather dark in here’ but it starts, “I am writing these lines from inside a lion…” That should give you enough to look it up.

So I’m writing these lines with a broken collar bone, and it is perfectly light so I am able to see, but I am in discomfort if not functional pain, and it is rather hard to write, though not impossible. What I love about the poem is that it is both an excuse for a not fabulous poem, or at least a messy poem, and a desperate determination to write whatever else may be happening. I’m not sure I am enough of a writer to get down the last thoughts of my life prior to digestion by a large predator, but I like the enthusiasm and intensity of life purpose. All of which forces me to answer the question, if I am in pain while typing, why do it? I don’t get paid for producing these blog posts (though feel free to send checks or gifts), frankly I don’t even get more than one or to people to read the damn things. The answer then is I am writing because the pleasure I get in actually putting these words together outweighs the discomfort – mostly. Don’t expect to read a long post.

Using my wounded half does not inhibit healing so technically I am not doing anything bad for me. I know there are plenty of reasons people do things that are bad for them, knowing they are bad for them, yet still wanting to do the whatever it is more than they want to maximize self-preservation. I could opt not to do this because it does enhance the discomfort I experience pretty much all the time now. But then I would also need to opt out of most of what I do everyday. Sometimes just walking around doesn’t feel good, also sitting, and sometimes laying down. Moving really seems to be the problem right now and I am not interested in stopping movement until more significant healing is achieved. And now that I am two weeks into the recovery I’m just not interested in conscripting much of what I do. Lifting weight is out for a while, but just because I can’t do some things does’t mean I’m not going to do most things. Especially things I like.

Injuries are rarely welcome, but it is valuable when we can use an injury to learn more about ourselves. I’ve learned that I really love skiing and it bums me out that my season is over, before this I thought I liked skiing and mostly did it for my husband – turns out I do it for me. I also learned that I can ask for help and help will be given, nice to know and not something I was sure I believed would happen. Also, I’m more patient than some would have you believe. These are all good and valuable lessons that I appreciate having learned. Perhaps like learning that there is a great compulsion to write, that it is one’s life passion, just before being swallowed by lion. Take what you can get from what is given to you – you never know when it will come in handy!

One thought on “Down and Slightly Out

  1. Poor baby! What can I do/bring?? Samosas?? I both liked your post and admired it’s necessary brevity. Kind of challenging to get straight to the point in only so many words (like a 6 word memoir) ….I see a lot of Shel Silverstein in the MES library going in and out so it’s reassuring to know kids are still loving his work. Personally, I initially remembered that poem as starting “I am writing these lines from inside a giraffe” which now that you bring up the lion makes the whole idea even more bizarre (and even less likely.) Carry on and get well soon!

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