Humility 101

untitled, ceramic, steel, 5×3″ 2004

Wheelchair fail:

I have 2 power chairs- One is quite small and also quite old. I use it in the house and it loads into my car. The larger of the two chairs I use for tooling around town adventuring.

The aged one was gifted to me by a friend. I hated it. It did not feel like a gift at the time.

It was big and black and obtrusively disturbing to my persnickety aesthetic (I like white).

After awhile I was grateful for the support, it’s diminutive size (turning radius in small apartments) and the freedom it afforded me as my physical self lost ground.

The other day it just quit on me. Dead. Dead in it’s tracks.

It was an inopportune spot- seductively near the bathroom and tight quarters made it dangerous for me to attempt trying to rescue myself.

I sat there for awhile and thought:

I could grab hold of walls and doors and hobble my way to my other chair but if I fell I’d take the chance of hurting myself which I can’t afford.

(Livvy the wonder dog comes to check on me)

I try wiggling the levers to release the power steering so the chair can be pushed manually and can’t do it.

Oh shit.

Oh shit.

What’s a girl to do?

What if I have to pee?

God- Cathy- don’t even entertain the thought.

Where is my walker? Let’s see.. can I get to it? No.

The answer is no.

I hang my head.


I have my phone and call my caregiver who by all rights should be here at 9:00am (it is 7:00 now).

I pull myself together, call her and see if she can come now. No- she has her family to see off but she will be there as soon as she can.

She arrives.

She has forgotten her house key.

I call the apartment office and she goes over to get the key.

I am rescued. (10:00am)

I am humbled to the innermost layer of myself. Again.

I am not in control on so many fronts.

I hate that reality.

Most people know this fact intellectually.

I know it very viscerally, soulfully, emotionally.

Because I know this at my core I have the gift of being able to segue quite readily into the other point-of-view which illuminates the fact we create our own reality.

This is such an over-used and tired phrase.

What it means is this: Life is a theater, a play, the Divine Comedy if you can get there.

If you don’t like the scene- change it (for me stuck in the chair it was the choice between being a victim to it or laughing at the absurdity of me trying so hard to avoid the whole mess).


Life is so messy.

And then it’s not.

And we carry on…..


5 Responses to “Humility 101”

  1. Carole Zoom on February 23rd, 2014

    I know the intense feeling. Of being stuck. Of being rescued. And the difference in how it feels to be graceful about it or graceless. It’s not always in our power to be superhuman.

  2. webster on February 23rd, 2014

    Control is an illusion, and patience is indispensable.

    When things like this happen to us, all we can do is wait it out.

    (Or, in other words, “I hate it when that happens.”)

  3. Kerri on February 24th, 2014

    I second Webster’s “I hate it when that happens” comment!

  4. laura Hegfield on February 27th, 2014

    Oh sweet friend… how miraculous it is to have a healthy sense of humor.

  5. Jann on March 3rd, 2014

    I felt so helpless, all I could do was read and imagine you sitting there. Such an awe inspiring piece, I loved it, I love you, too. xo

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