Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The first shower in a month has got to be one of the sweetest moments! Witness to others but never hurt myself like this before, I had not imagined life could be reduced to such a simple pleasure, celebrating the accomplishment of such a basic need.

A month after my accident, I am doing much better, thank you all so very much, and yet am still plagued by a fatigue that brings tears to my eyes, poised just on the verge of a total release of a lifetime of pain and suffering, but still refusing to finally overflow. I started to drive again this week, and like breathing, the ability to get myself to the store for groceries gives me a wholly new sense of purpose.

The sight of tubes protruding from my belly and penis hardly surprises me today. The slow limp that avoids pinching seems nearly natural. I empty my bags as regularly as checking email, and I can imagine a day when this will all be behind me, a tale barely worth mentioning to a new friend.

Last weekend, a friend encouraged me to attend an earth spirit conference with her, presented at a gorgeous sanctuary on the grounds of an estate overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondak Mountains beyond. Sunshine came through the window, a rainbow of color circled magically on the ceiling overhead, and the talk was of the energy of earth and spirit connecting us together in this mysterious life.

I could easily have (and probably should have) remained at home, bundled, secluded and recovering, one soul pondering alone. Instead, there was a built-in cushioned bench, nearly as comfortable, where I could lounge and listen, whisper to my friend, or nod off, leaning into the corner when it became too much.

The topics were inspirational. The mysteries of crop circles were discussed to open our minds to the unexplainable, pictures displayed to ignite a sense of awe. Also, there was a talk on sacred spaces, a startling discovery that there are many little Stonehenge type sanctuaries 5000 years old scattered throughout the woods of Vermont, and their similarities to others in the world, demonstrating just how long and faithful is our search for meaning in this life.

As my intuition to these sorts of connections grows stronger, it was the second speaker who made it clear to me why I had stretched my body to attend this conference. Bradfield is an artist and musician who lately has been motivated to speak at events like this. His topic was all about intuition, faith and trust, listening to the subtle messages all around within and without us that can guide us to our true purpose in life.

From where I sit so long and listlessly on my couch, it feels clear the struggle in my life has been like a fish upstream, a determined swim against a strong current for a reason and to a destination far beyond my comprehension. Listening to others and imitating strokes has made a few moments easier, but more lately it seems, the more I try to follow--do the "right" thing--the harder it gets.

My greatest fear today is that an answer lies directly in front of me and I am too blind to see. I feel open, vulnerable and willing. Unable to write or strum, often too weary to talk, I have alternately prayed, meditated, listened and dreamed, but the silence only seems to loom louder.

Yet internally, as subtly as the cells coagulating around the tube in my urethra, there seems to be an energy growing, a vague but powerful voice getting louder.

My tale is nothing special, my injury no more or less than what has been suffered by so many others at some time or other in each life. That it is mine is all that matters to me; that I humbly accept the pain and the gift that is my mortality and use it to benefit my brief time in this world connecting with others seems more than purpose enough for me.

Though carpentry is an honorable trade and sometimes has served me well, the progression of disasters makes me fear it might kill me the next time a hammer is in my hand to pound for my daily bread. My only clarity in this time is my fear to return to my usual path, one that has been so full of struggle, hardship and disappointment to myself and others, but has enabled me to live thus far.

If new waters must be discovered, I will explore them with faith and determination. In the roaring silence of this recovery, I ask for guidance. Immersed, I try to catch a sustaining breath. No further clarity embraces me, nor comforts, except that I must still and always go forward one precious stroke after another, open-hearted and excited, greeting the sunrise with joy and witness its setting with gratitude.

I am alive, and most importantly, I am not alone.

Please share with your friends


Anonymous said...

Thinking about you Kip. Hang in there it's getting better.


Anonymous said...

NO, you are not alone!

Laurie said...

Opps, that was me! I forgot to put my name there!