Flexible

 Sarah Rosemary at Sunny Side Up and I are hosting our own Reverb11, a series of prompts to look back on 2011 and manifest the new year.  Please check our Reverb11 pages for details, and join in!

Prompt for December 20: Be flexible:  Sometimes life does not go according to plan.  Tell us about a time where you had to be flexible and change your plans.  How have you made changing your plans work to your advantage?

flex·i·ble

adjective

  1. capable of being bent, usually without breaking;
  2. adaptable or variable;
  3. characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements

 I am, in a short, not flexible.

The irony of me having put on Linda Thompson’s Versatile Heart record while Andrew and I “negotiated” our marital separation ran deep, in no small part because of my inherent rigidity.

But that was two years ago, and even in 2011, I remain inflexible.

Or maybe not.

I bent to the point of breaking – to the point of being snapped back over under around and through – and looking down at my feet in the hospital bed, I was not broken.  I was wounded but alive and I would run another day.

Bill betrayed.  He left me with a balky dog and a wounded arm.  So I got the dog a pinch collar (taboo in some circles, I know), and I taught him to ring a bell to go out because I wasn’t always paying as much attention to him at home.  We survived.  I got the vet to charge me a lower rate; I have wonderful friends who have stayed with Roo while I’ve travelled.  We thrived.  We were characterized by our capability to adapt to new, different and changing requirements.

A few weeks ago, the doctor looked at my hands – crumpled, sore, swollen – as he stuck a needle into my thumb.  You’re going to have to have this joint replaced, I think.  He was stating the obvious; something I already knew.  It was my dominant hand, but years ago, I’d switched most things but writing from right-to-left to compensate.  The thing was broken, but I’d adapted.  I’d become flexible. 

Perhaps it is merely that I am not flexible about being flexible.  This year has been the year that lots of little things that I thought would never happen came to pass.  I didn’t think he’d cheat.  I didn’t think they knew.  I never thought I’d run so much, even as sick as I was.  I never thought I’d get as sick as I did.  Never thought I’d be sitting in this chair, with these blessings and burdens and responsibilities.

I wrote about chairs once before.  And my friend — he had posted a picture of an Eames chair.  The Eames chair.  And we’d talked about chairs in every language.  I thought I’d be a Navy chair, if we were anthropomorphizing the parlour:  “Sleek alumin(i)um; deceptively light weight; not as firm as I look.”

That metal, for its part, is a “soft, durable, lightweight, ductile, durable metal.”  It does not easily ignite, but is capable of being a superconductor.

That’s me.  Durable.  Flexible. Capable of being manipulated from time to time.  Cool-burning, but can conduct at very high temperatures across distance without losing a charge.

I suppose, in breakup and breakdown, this year taught that I am quite flexible after all.

2 Comments

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  1. This was so interesting to read. I do it (flex), but sometimes the very act can feel like nails on a chalkboard sometimes. I think a lot of it has to do with the choice of flexibility. When we choose to be flexible, the end result feels so different from if we had the necessity of flexibility forced upon us.

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