Rusty Shovel

Ok, it didn’t really look quite like this. But it almost did. Fair warning be given, today’s ramblings are on the decay of the body. When I considered today’s word, “rust,” my thought kept circling back to … myself! As in, I’m older, my parts are rusty, etc. I’m only vaguely ashamed to admit to this self-absorbed topic, since one is, of course, quite entitled to speak about oneself. Whether the results are interesting to anyone else is quite another matter.

Earlier this year I was out in the woods one day and I saw some fascinating moss that I could photograph right into the light. I thought about how to photograph it, knew I had to get down on the ground, and realized that the ground was a terribly long way down there. I did manage to get down on the ground. I did manage to get back up again. The resulting photo was definitely worth the trouble. But getting up and down was a LOT OF WORK. I thought to myself. This is nuts. I am not ready to be at that stage of life. I also thought, well, such is life. I don’t necessarily have a whole lot of say about what stage of life I might inhabit nor do I necessarily have anything to say about what physical limitations I might develop!

At the time I was limping. I had a knee injury that lasted from February until the middle of June. It was bad enough that I went to the medical profession for a diagnosis. Torn lateral meniscus, they said. They were sort of blasé about it. “Well, no dancing,” said the doctor, shrugging his shoulders. He also told me that, unless I was in a terrible car accident, nothing I did would make it worse. Now that was reassuring. But then he went on “Probably won’t heal,” he said, “because you’re too active. But it’s not bad enough for us to do anything. It has to be worse, first.” Huh? Did that mean he thought I would be in a terrible car accident??? Earlier in the process there had been an x-ray. Although I didn’t complain to the x-ray technician, I must have been radiating some sort of despair because she saw fit to comment, “luckily, our bodies heal.” I’m thinking that her off-hand comment was probably the most healing aspect of the entire medical ordeal … testing, appointment to discuss testing, more testing, another appointment to discuss result of testing. I guess the knowledge that I couldn’t make it worse was very valuable for my state of mind. But the technician’s casual optimism was what I held onto. I wanted to believe it, even though I didn’t.

She was right. I’m dancing up a storm. And, despite various aspects of pain lingering on for what seemed like interminable months, and despite my firm conviction that this state of affairs would never change, the knee feels fine now. I can put my weight on it and straighten it and bend it and use it to do all those things that knees did for me before, when I was ignorant enough to be completely ungrateful. I also decided that I might have just a tiny bit of say in whether or not I could get down on the ground and back up again with ease or dread. So, I started practicing yoga again (after many years of intending to do so). The ground is much more accessible. I’m re-learning to use a whole host of rusty muscles. Luckily, our bodies heal.
Beautifully colorful photo.

An interesting essay on the infirmities of life. Sometimes I think it’s a lesson in patience more than anything. Just wait and it will get better. It may not be as good as it was, but it is better than it used to be!
posted July 20th, 2018  
I'm finding out the same with some sort of torn something up near my hip... Nothing I do gets it better but it doesn't get worse. I haven't been happy enough to lower myself to the ground let alone lever myself upright!
Pretty blues in this old shovel (no shovelling for me, though)
posted July 20th, 2018  
The shovel looks great. I enjoyed your comments which touched an all too familiar chord.
posted July 20th, 2018  
good presentation; glad it healed, it is easy to get down but hard to get up which is why I bring my monopod ;)
posted July 20th, 2018  
On first glance without looking at the title, I thought this looked like a cool abstract. Neat rusty textures, colors, patterns...
posted July 20th, 2018  
You've touched on a universal concern today Françoise - a lot of 365ers will be saying 'Amen to that'!
posted July 20th, 2018  
isn't good that hearts and minds heal too?

lovely colours on your spade
posted July 20th, 2018  
Love the essay. Nice photo, too.
posted July 21st, 2018  
Nice shot
posted July 21st, 2018  
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