It has been a long time since I have posted and written. I feel an explanation is in order.
I aged years in a span of months.
While practicing for a downhill mountain bike race, I lost my concentration, balance, and health, in an instant. A vertical collapse from a ramp onto a rock below shattered my ankle into eight, puzzled pieces. My remaining bones dislocating and explored their sudden freedom by testing the walls of my muscle and skin.
A kind man with dreadlocks jumped down and carried me up to a waiting truck.
Maybe it is just sprained, he offered.
The recovery required multiple surgeries and three months in a cast. The nights were excruciating. I watched reruns on youtube, clips of shows I’d already watched, while chewing on pills and tea.
The only bathroom in our house is upstairs. Showers and bathroom breaks were events that require careful planning and pep talks – more pills.
The sharp aches were ever present – like buried knives breaking the surface, reaching through like fingers until the air splinters, and everything is a shade of red.
I assumed that I would do nothing which I did – with great effort.
When an athlete can no longer “athlete,” when a rider can no longer ride and the world within stands alone, watching the world without move on, there is nothing to do but wait and distract. It seems, like laziness, a suspended state of near sleep that others will condemn and ridicule. But it is, in fact, survival. Let the body heal, let it stitch itself into new shapes. Let it absorb and sink into the couch, the pillows, the sky. There are pictures that I live in.
I assumed that, during this time of suspended animation, I would dedicate myself to my craft and write. I would write and not stop – write or die, my escape, my therapy.
What else would I do for months on end? What else could I do?
But I didn’t write. I didn’t do. I was but I was not. Caught in between, a place of waiting, I stared at empty screens and empty nights and waited.
I realized then, that my craft needs chaos to thrive. It needs to be pressed, hiding in minutes that I do not have, stealing seconds and hours away from the night. Faced with stillness, the voice within shutters and sleeps, it rebels and creates nothing but questions and excel spreadsheets – eventual projects, possible ideas, maybe gains, most certainly losses.
To write required movement – not stillness. It demands activity, light, experiences. It demands dirt and bruises, the collapse and the rising. It demands breaking and then rising, never enough and then just enough – the carving out of a day, a fictional space, imagined and dreamed into reality with sweat and blood and night.
Too much time equates to too little possibility. Only now, when there is too little of everything is there too much to say, to be, to do and thus, to write.
Writing equates to living and to live one must move through the world, give chase to the future while racing from the past, throwing pages away as we scatter.