A week and a half ago I came as close to dying as I’ve ever experienced in life.
Please don’t laugh. For a writer to be T-boned by a garbage-truck sized (big and white) BOOKMOBILE (on a cloudy, everything-is-white-everywhere kind of overclouded day) … this is an omen. This is the SIGN of SIGNs!
THis is what the final crunch looked like, my dear Ones, when I walked away with only a bump.
This kind of near escape makes one stop. STOP! And … feel grateful. I’ve been feeling much more grateful than anything else. Of course there’s some thinking, too. But not nearly as much as just plain singing “thank you Great Spirit for letting me live!!!”
I watch each breath come in, I watch it slowly go out. I check my body. No harm! It’s a miracle. Nothing more, really, than an ordinary EXTRAORDINARY event. A miracle. I am simply grateful to be alive. My faithful 10-year-used Tracker was killed …
… but I was given a reprieve. For at least a little while longer.
In gratitude, in Spirit, in quiet Stillness: This is how I’ve spent these last eleven days since getting CRUNCHED by the big white Bookmobile on our busy, hectic, overcrowded US1, just one minute from my quiet and secluded residence.
To say that I feel there’s more for me to do is an understatement. There’s simply no other reason I was allowed to walk away from that crash unscathed (but for the bump on my noggin where it smashed the side window).
After finding the perfect next car (a perfect LordFlea car: a ’95 RED Jeep Cherokee I found on Craigslist), I dove back into completing my book, which I’ve been working on for the last two years.
This final stage of book-writing is the detailed line-editing that I’m doing with a professional editor. We are preparing for the publication process together. Then, I’m finally ready to show the world my first book, illustrated of course. So I’d like to talk a minute about my work, or for what “thing” I presume my Chief Angel in charge of catastrophic events saved me from dying.
First of all, if I weren’t an artist I’d feel differently about “my work.” Ever since my early youth I’ve felt a connection to making images and stories, sometimes weaving the two together in narrative paintings or descriptive prose. Ten years ago I stopped exhibiting my paintings and sculptures because of a paralysis that struck both my thumbs. Ahhhh, another message from the cosmos … but of what?
That time, when I couldn’t even hold a pen or type a word or do much more artistically than shake a musical instrument — I had the opportunity to re-think where my “work” was going. During my recovery, I had a lot of time to think. As an spiritual communicator who arts, I do a lot of contemplating about the work. My paralyzed thumbs-recovery was long, and gratefully it introduced me to acupuncture and herbs that I chose to do in lieu of the thrice-recommended hand surgery. The diagnosis was tenosinovitis, a fusing of all tendons in both thumbs, drastic! Gently, as my thumbs regained strength, I began putting weight on my hands with simple yoga poses, until … I could stand on my hands as well as resume my love of writing. I could gradually type on a keyboard, which was much less painful than holding brushes or sculpting with my hands.
And thus, I switched my creative work from being predominantly a visual artist to exclusively, a writer.
For the next decade I wrote and wrote and wrote. But always, just when I thought I was ready to publish, something would happen to deter me from going public. My insecurity. That lousy voice we all know that says, “You’re no good; Who cares?” I allowed myself to get discouraged. All me. My success is that I”ve never stopped typing, I”ve kept writing and writing and writing.
But now is another time in my life.
Now — after walking away from what could have been the end, just eleven days ago — is the beginning of a new era.
Now — I won’t let anything or anybody stop me from putting the work I’ve been doing so earnestly all these years, into the public’s view. Instead of just writing I now will publish the work.
Everything feels very — different — since I came so close to losing my life. This may sound sophomoric, but to me life is certainly a gift, every single breath of it. As I get older, of course, I”m more appreciative of what I’ve been given. Today, I wonder how much more time I’ve got to do what I want, need to do. That thing called death is no longer just an abstract, weird phenomena that only happens to “others.” It came very close, brushing my cheek, bumping me against steel and glass, missing my bones but spilling my blood.
Today I was re-watching one of the most poignant interpretations of this gift called life, or consciousness, that I’ve ever run into.
Yes, I can write much more about how I’m feeling about this gift of life, but let’s let Jill Bolte Taylor’s famous TED talk do it for me, shall we? And if you are one of the few who hasn’t seen “My Stroke of Insight” you are in for an amazing ride, a visceral treat. An intellectual rollar-coaster. This in-tune, animate woman explains, and allows us to feel along with her, the gift of life as seen through the eyes of someone who has come even closer to losing this precious gift than I. And … in the process … because she’s a neuroscientist, a brain researcher, Jill gives us clear proof about what all of our “Work” here on Earth is about.
Because we all count, whether we’re artists, scientists, or a garbage collector. All of our work is similar: we are here to make life better on Earth. To evolve. Consciously. Spiritually.
Some of us learn earlier than others, that we have a choice. The human condition, our individual life, is about tuning into love, compassion, joy — and realizing that we are all ONE. Jill knows. I know. I hope you do, too. If you don’t, you’ll soon learn.
Stay tuned. Stay focused on your breath. Stay in the moment! Be BLISS!!!
Your ever-lovin’ pal, lordflea, aka teZa Lord