Well, I can tell you that I am saving on gas.
I went in to the doctor’s today. They unwrapped the splint/wrapping and evaluated the incision. Everything looked good. Out came the stitches. On went a shiny new cast. For 2 weeks!
I look at that black sash every day.
There are choices to be made in life. I could have made this a “History” post, as it occurred last fall, but it happened while driving about. Enjoy the break from what’s left of winter.
Even you are not as pretty as the leaves today.
The dazzling sun is making the colors pop.
The reds, the golds, the yellows,
Blue skies, white clouds, evergreens frame the scene.
A kaleidoscope of fallen leaves spread out in front.
My camera fails to record this properly.
But I see, I remember, I'm overwhelmed.
The day we first met
The sun illuminated your form.
Your laughter echoed through the hills.
Your thoughts flowed with mine.
My feet barely touched the path.
But I saw, I remember, I was overwhelmed.
The story of the leaves does not end.
If you can’t leave, it’s a prison, right?
If you are restrained, constrained, hobbled you aren’t free.
Are you happy being partially free or partially in prison?
Is your prison half-empty or half-full?
Man, I wish I could drive.
As I sit here in my prison chair I look upon a window upon a
window upon life and wonder if it is pretty.
p.s. saw the doctor today; my sentence for stupidity shall be satisfyingly short (all things considered). Foot is doing well.
Today was the big day. I arrived at the surgery center early. They were running late. It’s not like I had anything better to do. The people and place were great.
I don’t like surgeries in general and anesthesia specifically. Nothing has ever gone wrong in the past and I have had a few repairs, but my brain is my best part (in my opinion) and I just don’t like them shutting it down. What if it doesn’t reboot properly? So, I discussed this with the doctors and guess what, they actually listened to me. I was awake for the whole procedure. The anesthesiologist claimed he put some relaxant into the mix, but honestly, I didn’t feel any different. But what he did do was an awesome nerve block on my leg, didn’t feel a thing. I wonder how long that will last?
Recovery time, meaning how long before they take this cast off and I can drive again, as that is my purpose, is estimated at 4 weeks.
I took a few iPhone shots for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
The surgeon handed me an allen wrench afterward, he said in case the screw backed out. No, no, just kidding.
See, in the middle of the arch, that bone that is sticking down with the diagonal gap. That gap isn’t supposed to be there.
I was offered a choice.
1. Full leg cast for 10 weeks and it might work. If it didn’t then either recast or surgery.
2. Surgery. Cut the side of the foot, screw in a nice, expensive titanium screw, sew up. Recovery 4 weeks. Wikipedia says this is the only way to go for an athlete!
I won’t take pain meds. I dislike drugs. Surgery, really?
I picked surgery. Scheduled for next Tuesday.
Oh, can’t drive.
Yesterday I entered my martial arts studio at 7:30am. At 5:00pm I hobbled out (to be explained) with the black sash that I had just earned.
But the story is not that simple, as is usually the case. In early 1994 I first entered this studio. By late 1997 I was one test away from black. And then I moved to Tucson for a new job. I kicked around down there but didn’t like the systems or the instructors. So I went on with life. Raising kids, having horses, entrepreneuring, volunteering, much like what everyone else does as they watch time pass.
And then I had my Big Meltdown (BM) which has led to this Driveabout. Roughly 3 years ago I decided to restart my martial arts practice. I called up my old instructor (Si Gung) and he agreed to work with me, which meant I studied at home and once a month I drove down to Salt Lake City for lessons. Not optimal, but I had a very un-Zen like goal of getting that black, because, how many folks (especially my age) can make that claim. Further, your body does need to keep moving and think of my martial arts as Yoga on super steroids.
My style is very eclectic and thus challenging. My “manual” has over 80 pages of choreographed moves that I am supposed to be able to execute at any time. There are many more that (seemingly) never got written down. We also practice locks, pressure points, grappling and meditation. The good side is the mental exercise and discipline, balance, control and overall great shape (yes I do have strong abs). The bad side is I do get hurt. A year and a half ago my knee got hurt during a group lesson. I wouldn’t say that it is fully healed yet, but close. And then this:
The reason I hobbled out of the studio yesterday is because sometime during the test I broke my foot. Yes, it did somewhat interfere with my performance, but I persevered. But that is not anything compared to what my mates did. They literally carried me through parts of the test. It is hard surviving one of these tests on your own. But they were lining up to help me when it was needed. Awesome. Still brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.
Is donning this belt, black as night
Cause of any concern and fright?
Is it imbued with mystical power?
Or proof of work, hour upon hour?
5 animals provide the needed influence.
Struggling to find the elusive confluence.
Over and over, repeat and repeat.
Striving for that really deep seat.
Sweat and toil prove all their worth
For every effort put in the search.
It really does come down to pride.
A skill no longer able to hide.
That belt is not worn to say,
Do me no harm on this day.
Instead it is there to attest,
Someone trying to be their best.
On the road again.
This time it is for 9 days in Salt Lake City.
The elevation at my kung-fu studio is 4450′. The elevation of where I live is 2287′. Not a great big difference, except when you get invited to a black belt test. And that test will cover two days. And I not only intend to survive the experience, but pass. I thought I would come in to town early and get acclimatized.
Yes, I am staying at a (different) Airbnb place.
On a previous (short)(for me) drive I wrote:
I was pulling into a rest area next to a town in the middle of nowhere.
My apologies to the locals.
They think it is the center.
I know better. And so does that electric guy.
Standing sentinels are now guarding the place
where I sometimes get “Good Country Grub”.
And it has always been good.
I’m looking at these pillars of electrons and
wondering if I am seeing the future or the past.
I was following behind a truck last night.
It was carrying a fellow truck, very similar looking.
Who must have been important because there were flashing lights
on the back. Two of them.
I could tell those lights were part of the mother truck,
but they weren’t coordinated.
Not coordinated, in the way that if you watch long enough,
for a brief period they flash at the same time.
But that’s silly. Who stays in back of a truck long enough
to see them catch up with each other.
What are they doing, checking each other out?
My god, this is the computer age, keep them apart.
Sitting on the Continental Divide
Reading a sign that says – Elevation 6870 feet.
It is a clear night, no moon.
The stars are so bright I can see the remains of the rain clouds.
The temperature is 55 now, was 95 before the welcoming rain.
I can see the other clouds, clearly.
What’s that – a shooting star?
What’s that – a grizzly?
About this divide,
something happens on one side of it
that doesn’t happen on the other.
I walk back and forth, back and forth.
I don’t feel the difference.
Maybe I’m too close to the problem.
I’ve said that views are better, seeing them with you.
But is that true?
I look up at the deep darkness, so shot through with lights.
If you were here, would I see it as darker, with more twinkles?
Or would I see it as less, because you are distracting me?
Of course I made it home. It was a very enjoyable drive. I really liked Astoria. It’s a very, very, very small San Francisco, which makes it quaint.
Here are a few more pictures. The Sea Lions and Bald Eagle were in the Astoria Harbor. The water is the Columbia. And the big mountain is Mt Hood. Always a good day when you can see Mt Hood.