I write in my journal – not about morning light soft on fresh snow or cat prints threading across the yard or deep spiritual insights gained from it taking five minutes to hobble from my room to the kitchen because of a broken kneecap. I write about impatience; forcing myself to stop thinking I’m being punished for something; living with (to put it delicately) stomach troubles when I can’t move fast enough. I write about using a commode, wearing adult diapers, feeling steadily embarrassed by all of it. I write about how grateful I am that I am not using. And I write about the physicality of real community, real love.
A kneecap is physical. Fractures are physical. Stomach flu is physical. These days in my life are not hypothetical or etheric or possibly even transformative. I don’t need thoughts sent to my knee or good wishes sent to my bowels. I need precisely what I’m being given: tender, ungrudging care given by tender, ungrudging friends. I won’t name them because every one of them would say, “I’m just doing what friends can do for each other.” I can tell you that they have brought groceries, home-made soup and bread, sent fresh pears; enough cat food to keep a shelter running for a week; plywood to put on the floor in front of my desk so the deskchair rolls easily; the willingness to clean out the commode, not once, but twice; helping me feed the cats and give Spokescat Ruti, the Red his twice-daily pills (without which, he would die); they have washed my clothes, stayed overnight with me and listened each time I’m sure a fatal development has occurred. They have made me laugh – but more than anything, perhaps, they have reminded me that I’m not as alone as I sometimes tell myself.
Those friends who are my children have been willing to have a few bone-deep conversations with me when I was afraid that they didn’t care. They live far away, but their love sits right next to me as I write this Breakthrough – and that is precisely what this time is. A breakthrough. I would not have chosen it. A combination of love for a friend, winter rain, twilight and mud brought me to this time. I have no conclusions tonight, eleven days after surgery. I do have gratitude. And knowledge that writing this Breakthrough was a physical act. It would not have been enough to simply have thought about the love and generosity I’m being given.
Love to hear from you about an unwanted breakthrough in your life.
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