Life surprises you sometimes in big ways. You are riding casually on a warm summer day, the wind on your shoulders, the hum of the scooter, so familiar, under you. Your best friend has just come
into town for your birthday from California and you are ten minutes away from seeing him.
You take a sharp right and miss seeing the gigantic oil slick on the road. You feel the wheel slip from under you as your foot shoots out on impulse to try to prevent the bike from going, but it’s too late. And whaaaaaaammm!!!!
Everything stops. You see your life flash before you. If it’s my time, I hope all my people know that I had a really good life and that I sucked the marrow out of it. I’ve been beyond happy. I will be ok.
Chaos. You hear a scream. It’s actually your scream. Strangers, paramedics, ambulances. It doesn’t matter, you can tell that at least your clavicle is broken before anyone gets there. You’re pretty scraped up, so for now it’s hard to tell if there’s other stuff, but you trust your body is strong and hope for the best. The paramedics take one look at your helmet and say you would be dead without it. You’ve been lucky. Bones heal. You’ve been spared from the great savasana.
For three weeks I’ve been laid up in bed in what feels like an opiate Wes Anderson movie dream. I can’t say it’s been horrible. It hasn’t, other than the pain. After so many years of yoga, I can work with the pain, befriend it and breath into it even when it feels like my lungs are being punctured. But the pain gets better every day.
Somehow, I still managed to have a great time and a great birthday. You can’t put this baby in a corner.
It had been a long time since I had really had an encounter with death. We’ve all have them. The last time it happened, I was in San Francisco, in grad school standing on the sidewalk waiting for the light to turn. An SUV ran the light just as I started to walk. I didn’t see it but felt the wind as it grazed by my nose. A stranger had grabbed the collar of my t-shirt and said “watch out!”. Another second, the car would have hit me. I’ve been lucky that it’s been years. Sure I’ve been going a little stir crazy, being immobile and in bed for this long on all the goofy pills. But mostly, you know, it’s just been
a great time to reassess and be grateful for my loving family and for you guys. So many of you are so much more than students, you are my community, friends and framily.
I am so grateful for all the energy, the presents, the book suggestions, the music, the visits, phone calls, texts and emails. Thank you. I am humbled by your sweetness.
I had to cancel a bunch of things on the docket. The great thing is it is affording me more time to really finesse the next few months, which have some big stuff coming up. So thanks everyone, not to worry, being Latin makes me close to indestructible. I’m on the up and up and will be back at work the week of August 24.
I’m getting more and more ambidextrous, but I’m not going to lie, it is a little unnerving and fascinating at the same time to look at your once clear right arm and feel like the tiniest movements are new, unknown, and sometimes impossible. It is kind of wondrous to start from scratch. The body is an amazing, cool and unstoppable thing.
Go out there an live the last little bit of summer. It’s a good life, you never know when your time is here. Make something of it.