Sunday, January 30, 2011

Morbid curiosity for a quiet Sunday evening.

Last week our neighbor struggled to remove snow from the roof of an ugly shed that now stands where a beautiful tree used to (remember this post?). We watched him flail about with a shovel pulling chunks of snow down onto his head and shoulders with each stab at the low roof. Chip said, "he needs to borrow our roof rake", or something nice like that. So although it was quite entertaining and very neighbor-like to sip my tea, stare out the window and provide running commentary on the antics next door, I did actually go outside to offer a more useful tool. It's pretty rare that WE have some kind of tool that a person might find useful.

The snow piles were so deep between my neighbor and me that I decided to "throw" the roof rake to him. Now, if you know anything about roof rakes, you know that they are rather unwieldy tools of a not particularly aerodynamic form, i.e. not meant for throwing. And if you know anything about me, you know that I am not the most graceful of sorts. In my excitement to be helpful, I javelined the rake toward my neighbor with its handle first. It's surprising how much the business-end of a lightweight aluminum tool, when thrown vigorously, can hurt the upper edge of your quadriceps. Launch attempt two was only slightly more successful; at least I didn't hit myself a second time.

Fast-forward to a week later, otherwise known as yesterday. I could still see and feel the large bruise left behind by my misadventure with the roof rake. I happened to be in the shower when I noticed this since it's winter and the shower is about the only place where I'm not wearing at least two or three layers, plus a hat and scarf - indoors. In my opinion, the shower is one of the two most fertile places for random, important thoughts. The other place being long walks alone, preferably in the woods. Both are also great places to get really dumb songs stuck in my head, like "Camptown Races" and "You're a Grand Ol' Flag" or "Darlin' Clementine", but that's a story for another time. This is all a very long, shaggy-dog style preamble to the interesting, but not overly deep, thought I had in the shower yesterday while contemplating my current bruise. Ahem....

I remember many of the injuries I've sustained over the past handful of years: tried to blow up my finger last New Year's Eve, fell down on Ascutney on my 30th birthday, bashed up my knee on Mt.'s Washington and Mansfield, cut my finger enough to leave a scar while slicing a bagel, got a rotten sliver stuck deep in my foot for a week before having it removed. That's just off the top of my head (a head that's been smashed into hard objects numerous times) and only from the past couple years. There's a whole lifetime of injuries lurking, healed and forgotten, in my past!

While I was in the shower contemplating my newest injury, I suddenly had this thought: what would it be like if I had to experience all the injuries I've ever had, all at the same time?! How much of my body's real estate would be in pain, scarred, aching, bruised, bleeding, and/or temporarily out-of-commission? I'd be a train wreck! Can you imagine how your cumulative-injury self would look and feel? Do you even want to?

When imagined this way, it suddenly seemed amazing to me how much injury our bodies sustain and how they recover so successfully (most of the time) from the damage. Simply wondrous! You might find this idea rather morbid, but I actually find it rather thrilling, fascinating and even comforting.

Like I said, shaggy dog story to get to that one weird, random thought. Hey, I warned you to check the depth before diving in head first!

If you're squeamish, leave this page now. For the rest of you morbidly curious types, like myself, here's some photographic evidence of injuries listed above (because people like blogs with photos, even -or perhaps especially - injury photos).

Damn! Check out that color! Ouch!

Memories from my first hike up Mt. Washington.

Injury from improperly tightened breach on a potato gun.

Still have a scar from cutting that Montreal bagel.


  1. I have nothing to say except tell you that nobody makes me laugh like you do !!!


  2. Yay! Laughing! Happy to provide some humor for you, Seema.