Friday, December 14, 2007


The sound of one hand clapping.
Or being an artist living with a broken wrist.


(Polar Bear)

I slipped on a steel plate in the sidewalk and my life is changed. Wrist broken. Many things come to a complete stop. Copper repousse paintings. Screening relief tryptic. Fiber work. Yoga class. Driving a car. Weights.


With the holidays around the corner, there's a lot I can't do either. Decorate. Bake. Wrap.


What I can do. Write. Draw. Read. Surf the internet. Walk the dog. Watch movies. Observe the world outside my window and inside my mind. I can collect images to use later. I can consider my work from a new angle. I can work on my story, a little more slowly, but maybe that's a good thing.


I can also delegate and accept help. Both hard things for me to do. Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here. With help, the holiday tree is up, the house decorated, cookies are being baked. My children are now helping me tie my shoes instead of me helping them. But they are learning too, like how to make their favorite Tuscan Bean Soup and Shortbread as well as how much goes into all the pretty decor, tree and wrapping that they've enjoyed for so many years.


They are learning some things they need to know because I'm not able to do it all for them. And I'm learning some things that I need to know, too, because I'm not able to do it all for myself.


5 comments:

Caitlin said...

Well I have really enjoyed learning how to help with the baking and decorating. These are skills I will be happy to take with me through my life. I love you! -Caiti

Deborah said...

Ah, I'd forgotten the "driving the car" piece of wrist injury. I badly damaged mine (not broken, although that was a question for a while) when I needed to be at a trade show a couple of hours from home. I *got* there, but it was on the way down that I realized the ER was where I needed to be. Then getting home. . . .

The good news was that my unlicensed driver daughter had been practicing with the gear shift for a while from the passenger's seat, in prep for really learning to drive. Of course, I only let her shift gears in completely safe situations: leaving stop signs in our neighborhood, changing from 3rd to 4th on the highway, and so on. She was learning the gear pattern and the feel of the gears going into position. I, of course, was handling the clutch, steering, brakes, and all else, and was always ready to shove her hand off the shifter and put the car in the right gear if needed.

Turned out we had to USE that technique to get home. And I *didn't* have the option of overriding her gear-handling ability, because my right hand was immobilized in plaster. We handled the interstate, the back roads, and everything in between. Fortunately, it was a Sunday afternoon and not a Monday morning.

It was actually kind of fun. And we would *not* have gotten home very easily at all otherwise!

Susan GT said...

Caitlin,
I'm so glad that you enjoy learning these new skills...I guess in doing it all, all these years, I forgot that one of the most important things about parenting is passing the knowledge on.

Susan GT said...

Deborah,
Wow...what an experience! Glad it all worked out so well and sounds like both you and your daughter learned a lot that day!

Janet Grace Riehl said...

Yes, I've been here...two weeks before my senior show in art school a dog bit my hand...oy, vey...so much to do, so little time. But, yes, I was able to get the help I need, but it does require retraining, doesn't it? Best of healing all around.

Janet
www.riehlife.com