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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

On brokenness

"Things are stronger where they have been broken," says a character in a genre fiction murder mystery novel which I am listening to.

"Humpfh, what do they know?" I think grumpily, and switch off the audiobook, unplug and unwrap myself from my (new) far infrared light device, reinstall my gothic torture instrument of a wrist and hand brace and stomp off into the garden.

Outback the sun's strong radiance is bringing out a rainbow of blooming in spite of me and my grouchy moodiness.

In bright morning light my eye moves across yellows and oranges of calendula, through blues and purples of two kinds of iris, various salvias and catmint and in the middle today, the first brilliant pink flowers on a Cistus x pulverulentus 'Sunset' aka as Magenta Rockrose.

The Cistus flowers offer their individual splendor for only one day, but information I have found on the plant promises that I will have blooms all summer long. Maybe. July and August here are punishing for most plants. They tend to go into heat induced dormancy at the height of summer.

Cistus (rockrose) is incidentally used to create one of the homeopathic Bach Flower Remedies which is used for courage. "The Rock Rose Bach® flower remedy encourages the positive potential of strong will and courage, especially in the face of emergencies."(From a website.) No I am not using Bach remedies to support the healing of my broken left arm. But maybe I should be.

That said I probably am doing enough things right. My second visit to the osteopathic offices down south, and third set of X-rays, yesterday showed evidence of good, strong bone healing callus formation. It's still too soon to put any weight on the area, and there's a fair amount of swelling and deformity, but I have officially been given permission to go longer periods without the brace. With the caveat: Proceed with extreme caution.

I dunno about being stronger where broken. I do know my first wander around the garden without the brace had me feeling really vulnerable. What if I fall again? Of course one can't live a life defined by fear and what if, but it was a curious experience. My whole living environment is tripping hazard piled on tripping hazard. Uneven rocks. Garden hoses. Electrical extension cords. Stuff on the ground everywhere. The art of living dangerously comes home to roost.

Then I picked up the garden fork (in the good, unbroken hand) and returned to the task abandoned over three weeks ago when I fell: digging grass from a bed. The grass which I wage war on here is invasive and consists of long runners. Each time it breaks it puts down roots and colonizes a new space in my garden beds. I get to thinking that this grass, which locals, either accurately or not, call Buffalo grass, but it's not unlike the kikuyu of my long ago and far away childhood, is certainly an example of resilience and being stronger where broken.

So maybe it depends. The aftermath of brokenness I mean. I have certainly learned to accept, with a measure of grace (sometimes), asking for and receiving help from others. Like the random stranger who helped load my 5 gallon bucket of tile adhesive at the hardware store in the big smoke yesterday. Yes I am once again "working on the bathroom project". Have been since 2019.

Can't say that I like or am gracious about the unasked for "help" from other random strangers (or neighbours walking their rat dogs) who stop to tell me I need vitamins K B D and boron (wasn't that once a petrol additive?) and sun on my bones...and...and...all while their critters poop on my sidewalk and they step in it unaware of their feet, so focused are they on vomiting advice for fixing my brokenness.

Who asked the whole world to be my health care consultant? I have an internet connection and excellent professional research skills. Thankyou.

The jury is still out on whether I am as resilient as kikuyu grass though. And would I even want to be?

Perhaps genre fiction authors sometimes insert philosophical throw away lines to offset a fear that being a murder mystery isn't enough. Though it's no mystery that broken bone kind of pain makes (some of) us murderously grumpy.

My other (and highly recommended) readings this week were both obtained as ebook loans through New Mexico public libraries digital content.

Victory City by Salman Rushdie. The latest yarn brim full of wonder, delight and perspicacity from this consummate storyteller and survivor of a book event assault and a fatwa. A lifetime achievement award for stronger after brokenness goes to this man.

The Tijuana Book of the Dead This new poetry collection by Mexican American Luis Alberto Urrea, has been seeing me through recent insomniac nights, but can probably also be read in daylight.

In a poem titled Skunks, about betrayal(s), these lines especially counseled me:

"...put my pale ass

In a chair

and wrote a memo

to myself

since I was awake


Item A) get over it

Item B) keep typing"

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