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?
- capable of being bent, usually without breaking;
- adaptable or variable;
- 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.