Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Tobacco. Sage. Ravens.

Sun. Moon. Rain.

Days pass without the distractions of cell phones, internet access, television. The days are elemental: work, food, sleep.

It's hard to lift my body from the camping pad I sleep on. I feel heavy and old. I stand on solid ground once I am up. I know the weight of my body, feel its bulk and its inertia, its draw to return to the earth from which it came.

Tremors keep me from threading a nut onto a small bolt that will fasten a light fixture to the stucco wall outside the front door.

I focus all my attention and slow down my movements, vainly trying to get the nut to bite. Just when I think I have it, I drop it. Again.

I am exhausted, standing on the lowest rung of a step ladder with my one good left foot and my aircasted right foot. It feels like I am standing on the top of a 30 foot ladder over nothing but air. How things change... Muscles in my left leg scream from the strain. I can't complete even the most basic of tasks. I will go at it again, and again, and again until I get it. Then I will go to the next task and its maddeningly slow progress.

You won't be surprised to hear what a blow to my ego this is.

I am impaired, weak, crippled.

I step down and look in the gravel for the 8/32 nut. I need my reading glasses to find it.

On one hand, I have no business being in a construction site. I am a danger to myself and others. On the other hand, I am getting stronger from the over-reach of climbing stairs, reaching down to pick things up off the ground, straining the broken tendon. I can feel it. Life is coming back into my legs, my heart, my breath.

It's a fight with myself. My odds are good. Progress is still too f*&#ing slow.

The real work is still to come, and this time of slow motion will have to propel me into the hard work doing work well with patience that is new to me. 


  1. I readily connect with the experiences andfrustrations you describe, Erec! Right now, 3 months out (today) from my heart surgery, and seemingly fully recovered, my energy, stability, surefootedness -- all low and slowing me down. But I'm slowly getting better each day (with some backtracking days here and there.) I'm told it will be a year before I feel fully well. I hope you can focus on the positives -- you ARE doing stuff you want to do with your own kind of grace. Keep at it, and be kind to yourself as well.

    1. Thanks Bill. Yes, I think of you often, healing, sharing a similar slow, necessary progress toward mobility and greater vitality. It's good work, and I am grateful to have the chance to walk again soon. Hang in there.