Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Each step costs you....something

I began this post earlier, tonight, musing about ideas that have floated around the past week.  Walking is a blessing (no crutches in Weeks now - whee!), save when I do it wrong.  Doing it too much is not the same thing at all as doing it wrong, by the way. 

Anyway, I started the post and then my daughter needed me - heigh ho, heigh ho, heigh ho, off to the kids I go.

And, now I'm back and I'm not sure the thoughts are where I left them, but I'll do the best I can.

Back in the late 90's, I listened to Belly (A Lot) and I loved the one (title escaping as usual) with the phrase "there's a lady who walks every where/on her hands/she don't trust/where her feet want to take her".

In my mind, that's a lady who knew the cost of a miss-step, one way or another.

If you are young, and basically physically healthy, a step costs you little that you know of. Practically no thought, simply the assumption that a ride would be better or faster, but in the meantime, the big guy gave us feet and off we go.  If you are female, you occasionally wince that you didn't plan for walking far in certain shoes, but that's about it.

I remember the first time I truly worried I'd frozen my feet.

Shortly after my brother passed, in a winter all agree was heiniously, heinously cold, I'd come home from work, on my usual bus, and had had to wait, standing, outside, a lot longer than usual.  I recall I'd to stand on the bus for some time, because another had broken down and we picked up the other riders, standing room only.  My shoes weren't terribly un-sensible, but with feet swollen from the day, not to mention weather well below freezing, they were hurting terribly when I got home. So, down to my room, my shower, I go.  Remembering the water couldn't be too hot, and checking with my fingers, because I could not feel anything from my toes.  I bathed the poor, dark purple bastards in lukewarm water for over an hour before, whimpering, I changed clothes, made some tea, and gave up the night for the next morning.

I'm fairly sure I had Sorrel's on the next day.

Cold toes is one problem.  What I'm thinking of is the step we take...to far.  One more step, and you'd have seen her kiss your boyfriend.  One slower step and you'd see him push her away.  One step on thin ice - the sheet cracks, and you return to shore.  One careless step and a child falls through. One step wrong and the lego piece you step on injures you - you turn the ankle while managing to fall hard, and actually break it.  While the cat jumps free to safety.  One guess who knocked the lego piece there to begin with!

Each step gives you what you do, or do not, know - walking is the slowest time travel ever invented.

If you saw "Beyond Borders" (as I recall, very few did) the movie ends with Jolie's character accidentally triggering a land mine, in the snow.  She was trying to rescue or free her former lover - a doctor, from a snow-filled war zone, and she stepped wrong.  If she stepped off, the blast (presumably) would have injured more - she stayed put and waved them away - made them step back.  She lost, so they would not (assuming they didn't trample over every next landmine on the way out!)

My maternal grandfather, Iggy, was raised by a moonshiner with a horrid temper, no lack of physical strength, and an ego that could not be contested.  As such things go, Iggy's father had a smart wife with a miss-shapen nose, and a son who learned something about watching and waiting  Eventually, Iggy fathered 9 children with my grandma Anne - quite a sharp cookie herself.  When my grandparents had something to say, I always figured they'd been and seen enough, and plenty, so I thought it well to listen to them.  My mom relayed one of Iggy's thoughts on medicine.  He was cautious about surgery - he once told my mother that each time they put you under, you lose something.  Something will not be the same as it was - of course, you are always changed by surgery - that's the point - but something else will be taken away.

In my quest to have my feet 'fixed' (like 6 relatives on my mom's side, including my mother), I've had to be put under twice now.  I agree that something goes missing - my mind simply isn't the same.  If one glass of beer or wine can kill brain cells, I shudder to think what died during the anesthesia, for the total four hours of surgery I went through this year.  Growing up, I had a near-photographic memory.  Now I can barely type the word 'photographic' on the first try!

I did this for my future, so that I can walk farther, with a straight back when I am old.  There are steps I refuse to Not take, with my children, perhaps even their children. I feel it is always better to know, and sometimes knowledge is only gained one, pain-filled, step at a time.

Is it always good to know what you've paid?

Or, does it only matter if you know...exactly what you have left?


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