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PTD #8

This morning was the first day I awoke without anything hurting, which I wasn’t expecting, as last night it seemed impossible to fall asleep because everything was. Whether related or not, it all began after eating the second Corsica bread stick while sitting, stretched out on the back seat of Sue’s car, on a “get-me-the-hell-out-of-the-house drive ‘up north’.” For those not familiar with Corsica bread sticks; which I recommend most highly, other than more than one at a time, especially on an empty stomach, they are pretty much saturated with olive oil, a mono-unsaturated fat notable for its cardiovascular benefit–as often is the case, too much of a good thing can, at times, be a bad thing.

A few minutes ago, my son and his girlfriend stopped by, following a trip “up north” with a gift of Corsica bread for dinner. They knew not of my over-indulgence yesterday, but, being fully recovered; I find myself looking forward very much to dinner, with a modest serving of the heart-healthy bread.

I’ve been a week on my back now, and have yet to write anything productive (blogging doesn’t count). I’m not sure where all the time goes. I sleep about twelve hours a day; still, the twelve remaining hours are considerable. I need to spend less time getting to the end of the Internet, but I’ve been so hooked on reading/listening/watching all that I could about Jason, now that he’s a celebrity: and of course there’s always the news–but, that’ll always be there, so Monday I think I’ll re-engage with my productive side.

The swelling is down significantly from this photo from PTD 5

Stigmata

Sue said that the foot looks like it should have a toe-tag on it, and I’d have to agree, and in fact, it very well may have given the mechanism of injury. During the dressing change last night, with the foot bare, open to air, our friend, Jan, who was helping (it’s easier with two people) said, “Jesus…it looks like a nail.”

I said, “it is; the only thing missing is the wood of a cross.” And as a point of further clarification, I added, “the only difference is that I’m no Jesus, and the only stigmata this is is the stigmata of stupidity.”

I can easily say this because if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that I’m a sinning, faulted, imperfect man, and humility comes quite easily to me. I’m also more convinced, than I’ve been in the past, of the existence of two worlds, those being the material and the immaterial or spiritual world.

The beauty of the material world: the milky-way of stars against a moonless night; the varying shades of azure surrounding the white sands of a tropical island, turning to the deep blue of the deep; the scent of roses in bloom on a trellis; the taste of honey; the sound of Pachabel’s Canon in D, all this beauty is accessible to any observer; but is rather meaningless to those observers who are not present in the immaterial world as well. And I don’t mean a “secular” immaterial world, because there is no such thing. I mean, truly, the spiritual/immaterial world–the other, eternal world, where He is.

By “present in” I mean to say having belief in the existence of God, and the moral values that implies, for that is what separates us from the other denizens of the earth. By “meaningless” I mean to say that what makes beauty remarkable is the awareness and appreciation of it, and if there is not that, what does it matter–kind of like–if a tree falls in a forrest, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound. What lends meaning to beauty is the Wisdom to comprehend it, with the understanding that the Wisdom is in his image, and a part of the eternal, which is within us. 

Knowledge and intelligence are not synomonous with wisdom; they are the in the domain of animals as well as of man; whereas Wisdom is soley within the domain of man. So, when an atheist, such as Richard Dawkins, a most intelligent and knowledgable man all would agree, gazes upward, on a dark night, at a limitless haze of stars, it is meaningless, negated by his denial of the Wisdom within; he may as well be a chipmunk.

What’s that?

Oh, Dinnertime; gotta go.

PTD #6

Well, after six days it’s pretty clear that Keflex has a terrible taste, valium’s good for sleep, and oxycodone gets stuck in your throat and lends itself to disconcerting dreams; or maybe that’s the valium. Last night, for instance, I dreamt that I was attacked by a couple of viscious hummingbirds. Why humminbirds?

The feeder

 I suppose because there’s a hummingbird feeder hanging outside the window behind me, and I see them every day; normally, I like ’em, now, I keep my BB gun handy: just in case.

Everytime my brother-in-law visits, he does somthing to my house that I never quite understand, except that by the time he leaves, I can do things that I couldn’t do before–techy things, like do something on one computer that involves another, not in the same room. Last Christmas, Sue asked him to make me a “special” computer for a home entertainment system, located in the basement. As many of you know, my son, Jason, had a huge fight in Vegas on the 29th, which I set up to record Before The Accident (BTA).

Jason Rolls over Lil 'Nog

Anyway, I’ve spent the last three days reading all about the fight, watching post-fight interviews, even listening to a radio interview where I could hear my granddaughters in the background. The problem was; the fight was recorded on the computer downstairs; and I was trapped upstairs with my two broken legs–I know, poor me, poor me. Then I thought–what about all this wireless stuff that Jimmy hooked up last time he visited. A minute later I was glued to the screen of my laptop, watching a champion athlete, Jason, competing with one of the top ten fighters in the world. I watched Jason dominate this guy with the big name for all three rounds. It was incredible. It was obvious that Jason was having a great time. You’ve never seen a happier ultimate fighter–that’s for sure. No one was more surprised than Lil Nog and his corner at how dominating Jason was. Unfortunately, the state of Nevada judges were crooked. I’m guessing, with the 5/1 odds against Jason, that they couldn’t allow him the win because of all the money involved; because, there is no doubt that Jason won that fight. The crowd new it; Dana White (UFC President) knew it, and said as much; and Lil Nog knew it–you could tell by the way he slunk out of the arena after the fight, and by his comment  in the post-fight interview, “I do better next time.”

Jason was a class act all the way, handling the poor decision with a graciousness that I’m sure few would be able to project. If you don’t beleive me, read this. It’s not often that people can live a dream as Jason did that night. It reminds me of that line from Braveheart, Every man dies, not every man really lives

Post Trauma Day (PTD) 3

PTD 3

Injuries: Left tri-malleolar fracture (unstable; Right posterior tibial plateau fracture  (stable); Right rib fracture; Puncture wounds to right tibia, left forearm; Right transverse process fracture; Chagrin.

it could be worse

I wish that I could say that my traumatic injuries were the result of some heroic activity benefiting mankind; like pulling a child from a burning building; or tackling an islamic fundamentalist about to open up on a crowd of innocent women and children; or engaging enemy forces in Iraq or Afghanistan; or, well, you get the idea. Instead, my trauma was simply the result of a seemingly harmless bike ride down a road I’d ridden a hundred times before.

I am very appreciative for the outpouring of support and prayers; and all I can say is…I shall return. But first, I will share with you…

I went flying the other day, off a bridge spanning a shallow, rocky stream passing under a scenic eight-mile stretch of Glidden drive. The Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend, the same day of Jason’s UFC bout in Las Vegas, was a beautiful day; and I’d stopped by the ER to make sure the coast was clear because I’d ridden my bike to work and I wanted to, as I said to Jane, “make like Supertramp, and take the long way home.”

I could see the bridge approaching, around the curve. I was on a slight decline, on top of the handle bars. I began to reposition my grip to the drop bar to deploy the breaks, but then lost my balance on a patch of gravel; wobbling, I was too focused on not falling, at the expense of not breaking; then, more gravel, skidding…the guardrail…flying.

It was a microcosm of time, given a free-fall velocity of 32 ft./sec/sec; and the vertical distance of 12 feet; however given the parabolic curve to the earth’s surface, the time of flight seemed generous, even if not much less than a second.

 In the several weeks leading up to my flight I’d been reading a number of books revolving around spirituality, the most recent being St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” In Confessions, St. Augustine carries on some interesting discussions of the beginning of time, and time in general; specifically the meaning of past, present and future. It is fairly easy to get a handle on the past because of our memories of what has past, and the future is easy to understand because we anticipate that; but, what exactly is the present? The present can be broken down into infinitesimally smaller units of time, which immediately become part of the ever-expanding past, such that it seems we are forever anticipating a future, while living forever in the past. There can be no present as long as there is time, which was created in the beginning. Therefore, the only present would be to seem outside of time, in the eternal—the eternal present, the dominion of God.

Once in the air, I became a wave equation of probabilities, most of them bad. I saw myself from the perspective of an observer—I didn’t see revolving ground and sky, which I expected, as I was somersaulting through the air; rather, I saw myself sailing up and out, arcing down towards the boulder-strewn stream. I was outside of my corporeal self, but still very much aware, almost clinically detached, calm, even. I wouldn’t say that I was afraid—I didn’t scream (then): I remembered thinking this is going to be bad.

There was silence, rapidly approaching ground, then the sharp crack of impact. I landed on my legs, then my back, lastly, my helmeted head. I felt no pain. It was like I wasn’t there at first; but, then I was, on my back, in the water, on top of rocks; and it hurt like hell; then I screamed.

As I lay there, in the bed of a small stream draining into Lake Michigan, I realized that I could feel and move all four extremities. I felt pain in my right mid-back, but no numbness or tingling. I had experienced no loss of consciousness. I looked at my legs and saw blood, abrasions and an obvious fracture of the left lower leg, with my foot rotated unnaturally 45 degrees externally from true north. I scrabbled out of the water to the bank, and began to pray.

 I had the distinct sense that my immaterial self, consciousness, soul, spirit was separated from my body, while in the air, without any certainty of re-union. Then, in a rush, it felt like I was drawn down into my body, already on the ground. I do not have a memory of impact, or pain of impact, I only remember being there after impact, and I did not lose consciousness.

I wonder if that was the eternal present—that instance of awareness outside of self.