The vulnerability of connective tissues

Cabin in snow, NJ, 2008
From a cabin trip, NJ, during a winter with snow

[A thing I’ve been meaning to write about, but have been waiting to see how it affects, beyond initial denial and impatience.]

Twelve hours after landing back in Brooklyn from New Mexico, I sustained a godawful injury to my right foot under the most mundane circumstances. Went for x-rays the next day, as it was impossibly swollen and painful, but nothing broken, no fractures. Just a severe sprain to the ligaments, they said. Lucky, they said— but soft tissues are more tricky in the healing than bones. Careless or incidental re-injury is a risk for months, even years.

It’s forced me to slow down. Was house-bound for days— reliant on others (something I’m unused to). But it’s an eye-opener. No shame in asking for help, and perhaps my stubborn insistence on self-reliance has to do with more than what Emerson intended. It’s linked to the layers of defense; my walled city.

A nascent aim to be more open. To allow discomfort. Relinquish some control here, assert more there, as needed. Redistribution; crop rotation.

I’ve been visiting my family upstate for Christmas. I adore them and love to visit, but there’s part of me this trip that’s itching to get back to the city. It’s connected to the injury, but something else, too. An urgency to get into a rhythm of tackling things put off for months— on account of work and other commitments and, recently, travels and my ‘stupid foot’.

I get a little mental without some sustained level of action or productivity (for lack of a less strictly-sensible word). This week, and likely a number more, shall be an object lesson in patience. It’s a lesson begun in the high desert a couple of weeks ago.

And I surely need it.

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