Monday, November 12, 2012

A Reminder of Our Vulnerable State

For most of yesterday, I found myself in one of the strangest but most intense head spaces I've experienced for quite awhile. The day was dark and cloudy with a rain that quickly washed away any memories of the delightfully warm weather that had existed only hours before. I was alone, but there's nothing unusual about that as most of my time is spent alone; and truth be told,, I enjoy the dark and dreary days of November. I spend a good part of the year looking forward to them and the melancholy feeling they bring to me. Yesterday was different however, and the unusual mental state that served so well to unnerve me came, not as a result of the day's bleakness, but rather, from an occurrence that took place the day before. 

On Saturday I was at my son's house playing with my granddaughter. She had just ridden her toy scooter down the street's mild slope for the length of a few houses and then turned, bringing her scooter to a stop. "Mind if I have a turn?" I asked when she returned. After she agreed, I carried the scooter a couple of houses up the incline, jumped on and let her rip. 

In what seemed like no time at all my tiny vehicle had accelerated to a fairly rapid pace and I found myself moving rapidly moving away from my starting point. To avert any further movement away from the house, I attempted to make a wide turn. The next thing I remember was sitting on my son's porch; people were gathered around me and my daughter in law was applying an ice pack just above my right eye, where I had a very deep gash. "You need to go to the hospital," she told me. At first I objected, but was quickly convinced that I had to have stitches. All in all, I suffered a concussion, got several stitches near my eye, pulled the muscles in my right arm and chipped a tooth. To say that I got a black eye would be an understatement, and today, I'm slowly working my right arm back to usefulness. Oh, and did I say that I'm sore? 

Just a night or two before my avoidable accident, I had watched a film entitled Hereafter. Produced by Clint Eastwood, the movie explored a French TV anchorwoman's near-death experience and her boyfriend's refusal to give her experience any credence. "I just think that when we die the lights go out," he told her, "it's into the void of nothingness." Of course, I didn't die before being resuscitated as had the lady in the film but. still, I had never been knocked unconscious before, and the stories of neighbors coming out of their houses to check on me as well as my walk back to the porch draws a blank. As I attempt to put it all into perspective, I'm reminded of the boyfriend's contention in the film. For a few moments on Saturday I had truly entered a void of nothingness. 

As I sat in the quiet of my cottage yesterday, I contemplated these questions about life and death. As a magical person, I've had other experiences that have led me to believe that there is much more going on than what we ordinarily meets the eye. So, why was I doubting everything yesterday? Additionally, I thought about my country's refusal to implement a sensible universal healthcare program, which as in other nations, would spare people like me from crippling medical expenses should an accident or sickness occur. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I pondered both human and my own vulnerability--how fragile our bodies, minds and spirits really are. In spite of my best efforts to get back into a more normal state of mind yesterday, which included watching the first episode of The Walking Dead, I simply couldn't escape the dark cloud that had overtaken me.. 

We all like to think about ourselves as strong people who create our own realities and are able to overcome any adversity. We like to wear our uniforms proclaiming to the world that we are Goth, members of some other elite group or otherwise, super cool in some way. Still, when the chips are down, we are all fragile, vulnerable human beings living in a world that is as as turbulent as the sea in a North Alantic storm. And when reality occasionally slaps us on the head, we react like all other human beings--with fear and uncertainty. 

Of course, my experience could have been much worse, and many people have gone through far worse than I ever have. Still, Saturday's experience gave me a moment of pause. We are all fragile and vulnerable beings, whose lives, hopes and dreams can be changed significantly within a matter of seconds--and Saturday served as a potent reminder to me.  

Photo source: Gothic Pictures Gallery
Author unknown. .      


  1. I find it hard leaving a comment on a serious post. No matter how you mean it to sound, it always seems to end up sounding trite. So I'll just say that I'm glad you're okay and leave it at that ... :)

  2. Thank you! That makes two of us.

  3. ....monsieur...I have had this experience. Yes, I can speak to that of the void. I have been there, seen it, and,...other things. Not like others say. Ever since then, yes, life changes in ways that are beyond understanding.