5.3 Slowing Down (Help)

Posted: May 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, today I rode through the grocery store in a Mart Cart with my crutches and my backpack in the front basket, the machine going beep-beep-beep as I desperately tried not to hit anyone while filling out my post-doctor’s appointment shopping list. Which included, not surprisingly, ibuprofen, ace bandages, ice packs. more ibuprofen and a few edibles that didn’t require cooking.

I liked the Mart Cart once I got used to it. It makes me shorter; thus I could see things on shelves that I normally can’t see, but I also had a few moments of trying to grab things that weren’t without my reach. At all. It was a great people-watching experience as well. Some people have been in wheelchairs or crutches before. You can tell by the way they move out of your way, by their offers to assist. Other people just sort of pretend they don’t see you trying to maneuver this ridiculous cumbersome cart and they barrel right at you, requiring you to lay on the horn. (Just kidding. I only used the horn once, and it was by accident). Also, you don’t realize how difficult aisles are to get through until you try to get through one in a Mart Cart. It’s not the people, so much. It’s the boxes being loaded onto shelves, the various palettes holding stuff, the end caps. It’s a crazy, messy world when you can’t get through it on foot. While on crutches, I’ve been in two different coffee shops. In one, a customer held the door open for me, and the barista brought my coffee out to the table. In another, nothing. Odd what a difference just a little assistance can make.

In general, so many people have offered to help that I am delightfully overwhelmed. I’m not good at taking assistance. I’m prideful and independent and bull-headed (read: Aries) and thus, I don’t even take assistance when I really really need it. I’m working on that, mainly because I want to get better, and fast. I let someone help me unload my cart, and another person help me with the door. People have offered to drive me around, and I’m going to take them up on that too. It’s a funny thing to be incredibly shy/proud about saying, “yes,” while also being so damn grateful that people are willing not just to offer hollow words, but real deeds and assistance.

This process of saying, “Yes, please, thank you,” is good zen practice for me. As is sitting in the Mart Cart, weaving my way slowly through people’s legs. As is being in a place where I need people. In many ways, I am alone in this. I am single, I am far away from my blood family, I have created a wall of independence around me that is so reflective it can scare people away. And yet, they’re not scared away. They’re standing there, holding out their hands, and helping me along.

Every movement forward a grateful one, s.


“Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don’t cheat with it.”~ Ernest Hemingway


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