I usually say I like surprises. (Letters in the mail being one I love. ) I have often said I like the unexpected. (walks in nature provide many unexpected delights:flowers, the odd song bird, beautifully frosted dark blue beach glass by the surf...) And change is almost always good. It shakes things up, keeps you on your toes. Keeps one from getting too settled & complacent -without change , the unexpected and surprises life could easily become very boring. At least that has been my mind set.
But in reality there is duality. Good change/bad change/ good surprises/bad surprises. So when one says exuberantly : " I love surprises!" one is thinking unexpected flowers at the end of a long day-not finding out you have lost your keys or you tire is flat-and so on.
On April 1st I fell. On uneven pavement, my foot got caught, I went down (while walking down hill) and while the fall was broken by my left knee, my right wrist and the right side of my face, I did get hurt. I have not fallen like that since I was a very young child. As an adult there are consequences and ramifications : the sprained wrist leaves me unable to do a long list of things we all take for granted. I was so used to being able that being temporarily unable left me shocked , frustrated and bewildered . I simply was not used to being unable to do things.
When one is younger, a fall or injury is usually quickly recovered from. But as you get older things like this take on new meaning. They provide windows into what it might be like to get older, what it might be like to be permanently disabled in some way.
The last few days my right wrist had been getting noticeably better. I had really been enjoying being on the mend & seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Then on Wed. evening my neck got unexpectedly sore. (I had noticed it was hard to look both ways when crossing the street since I had fallen but that was such a small thing that I had not given it much thought-besides, my wrist and the slowly healing scars on my face over shadowed it.)On Thursday evening the pain in my neck became incrementally worse as time passed. Finally it got so bad I got worried. It was on a level where nothing felt comfortable , where just existing was getting hard.
And while I wait for the doctor to call and give me an appointment it has given me an even more intense lesson in the unexpected. In both cases, I had plans to do. Lists of things to do and put behind me. And suddenly, all of that fades and I am left adapting and reconfiguring.
I yoga we try and see things in perspective, try to erase the words "bad" and "good" and see all as experience. And since I am getting older and these types of things probably will be, more and more, a part of my life experience, I am going to try and do that most yogic of tricks, welcome this type of event rather than resist and fight and deny it's existence and reality.
The accompanying photo was taken on the long ride home from Cape Cod a few weeks ago. I picked it for it's double meaning. Wrenches tend to be tools we use to fix things. But they are also famously seen in an opposite way:"So and so really threw a monkey wrench into my plans..."
I am mulling over the cosmic duality of the wrench, the monkey wrench...