top of page
Sign up to get the latest updates from Barbara Stark-Nemon
Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Me
  • Facebook Long Shadow
  • Pinterest Reflection
  • Twitter Long Shadow

A December Reckoning


It’s an early December day and I am 20 minutes into more than an hour’s walk in Nichols Arboretum near my home in Ann Arbor. I marvel that I am walking. Just a month ago I took a fall that could have paralyzed or killed me. I sustained compression fractures in two vertebrae, and a broken wrist, but I am recovering slowly and steadily. The intense pain and shock reaction after hospitalization and surgery have faded, but what remains is a paradoxical sense of well-being—the feeling that in some profound way I have dodged a bullet and I’d best do something life affirming as a result. This was not really a near-death experience, but it truly scared me. It was a careless fall down a dark stairway, that taught me some lessons.


Perhaps on the heels of family deaths and near deaths and a year and a half of navigating political crisis and a pandemic, the resulting injuries and the shock of how much worse it could have been changed the low-grade malaise that has frustrated me recently. Instead, I feel energy directed more toward all the reasons I have to feel contentment, gratitude, and purpose. It’s good to remember how fortunate I am in family, friends, and community and the natural world.


Being forced to accommodate to major physical limitations has caused me to think about my tendency to push the boundaries of what I take on to the point of unhealthy stress. I hadn’t previously given a lot of thought to the relationship between vulnerability and openness but I'm thinking a lot about it now. I could certainly do without the exhaustion I feel by the end of the day from just being vertical, but I am learning something about slowing down and feeling comfortable and accomplished with doing less.


What does it all mean for my authorial pursuits? I lost a month of writing time, but as a result of being unable to type with my left hand, I've learned how to use the voice to text function on my computer— small silver linings! I will plan a trip this spring to Portugal, Spain, France and Germany to complete research on my third novel, and try not to worry whether I will really get to go on this long-delayed adventure. In the meantime, I am back to working on the book. I am working on taking care of myself and those I love. And as always, I am grateful for all those in my reader and writing communities who will read these words! Wishing everyone all the best during the holiday season and in the new year.



Comments


Archives
bottom of page