Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I interrupt my regularly scheduled broadcast to muse on what goes on with men and women

This weekend my husband tore his Achilles tendon. He was playing basketball, the game that has been very very good to him. Two hip replacements, two knee surgeries, sprained ankles, etc. and he decides he needs one more shot. The thing is, I can't exactly blame him, well I can but who doesn't want to be young again. Who wants to get old? Who wants to be cautious and worry about what you can or can't manage to do? Who wants to treat your body like it's a sacred vessel? In other words, who wants to admit to mortality. I sure don't. Yet it's the obvious course for all of us. We've set the sail, and we're heading south.

I can't help but believe that part of the desire to avoid the truth is good. Without a conviction in our own invincibility would we ever do anything? I sure don't think Amelia would have gotten up in a plane. I think she would have stayed rooted to the ground. Worry is infectious. It limits your choices. It makes you think you have to protect yourself at all costs. I've seen its impact first hand. My mother worried incessantly. She was a depression baby and everything was doom and gloom. The last few years as she lost her memory she managed to continue to give advice. Her words of wisdom over the course of the spectacular debacle we call "the great recession" were, "It's 1929 all over again." Sometimes she switched to "1932." I have no idea why, but the anxiety was palpable. We were all in for it. Who knows if she was right? I hope not. But I do know that saying it, and living the worry has infected me. I am not exactly a fearless person, yet I know that it's important to push past one's own limits. If you don't, you live such a small life. We all know how it ends, what we don't know is how we'll manage to live it out. But I think Amelia understood that risks were worth it. And even though I want to kill my husband because he shouldn't have been on that court, he shouldn't have imagined he was that person . . . the one that was able to do whatever he wanted, I also understand his desire. We all need to feel free. To taste freedom. To believe we can live without restrictions or limits. For the moments we're able to do that, we all feel what Amelia must have felt. We all fly then.


  1. Very well said. Pilots practice risk management, i.e., strategies to minimize risks and make good go/no-go decisions, but risk can't be totally eliminated even if you stay home in bed. What if an earthquake happens and your roof falls on your head? (Here in California that's not actually a far-fetched scenario.:)) Life itself is a gamble.

  2. And I was in a particularly optimistic mood when I wrote this too. It darkened later in the day, but that's how life is, up and down. Thanks.

  3. Ouch! Poor hubbie! Give him my well wishes as he recovers from a tear in his Achilles tendon. I loved the flow of writing in this post, and especially the sentence: "We've set the sail, and we're heading south." So true, and stated succinctly and beautifully. Contemplating mortality, ironically, always makes me feel more alive, or more conscious of being alive. Thank you for contemplations on mortality in this post. I enjoyed reading the comments too.