Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Scent from the Jar

The last time I blogged was five months ago—yet another wide gap in the Mantelpiece's well-meaning smile. Two weeks after that last post, I was in a serious bicycle accident of unknown, and irretrievable, cause (though I'm lately pretty sure it was a mechanical mishap, evidence of which got pushed aside in my mind in the initial aftermath). It was not life-threatening per se, but it could easily have been life-ending if, say, I hadn't been wearing a helmet (which I always did) or had fallen out of the bike lane and into the adjacent car traffic. 

I have no memory of the incident itself, just the moment I was surrounded by EMTs and everything else that followed.

I'm not going to recount the details of my recovery here—and I am mostly recovered (though still a member of the doctor's-appointment-of-the-week club: only a slight exaggeration and, yes, I do have one tomorrow morning at 9). It would take too long.

What would take even longer would be to describe how the accident changed me, because I'm still figuring that out myself. The bread is still rising. 

One thing it's been very hard for me to even contemplate doing is write. (And not for the first time—see previous gaps.)

It so happens that next to me right now lies a softly breathing dog whose final days are very likely upon me. I cannot grasp this. I try to talk about it intellectually, calling upon earlier deaths of loved ones I've survived, human and animal. 

Can't beauty and sweetness—the steady rising and falling—withstand anything? Have we really covered this before?

So I'm unable even to document my survival, it seems, without introducing impending loss. I've opened the jars, but they go back on the shelf. That act I've survived.

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