Attempts at Okie Acclimation - The Sooner Saga
The move to Oklahoma could also be titled "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (unfortunately, that title is already taken) and I feel quite ungrateful saying so, because the move answered many prayers but, I did "something" to aggravate old injuries from the accident (read about it here) and, combined with the record-breaking cold temperatures of this Winter, I have found myself struggling just to "keep moving" and to keep up on daily tasks. I have found it next to impossible to get out of the house and get new images.
By some quirk of "how-the-body-heals-after-a-significant-trauma", sitting, with arms upraised (the driving a car or typing on a computer position) has always been the most uncomfortable position for me post-accident. I have struggled to keep up to date on my blogs and photo editing. I've struggled to drive. I have been struggling to work. And I find myself wondering what's supposed to be a normal challenge and what's supposed to be a barrier.
Since my photography is predominately waterfalls and macro shots of flowers, the local geography has been a challenge. Oklahoma is rather flat and there aren't many waterfalls here, and because of the temperatures, there haven't been many flowers, yet. Even more trying, there is a constant 20 mph wind that makes any type of long exposure and macro photography a challenge. It's been frustrating to take pictures now and, coupled with my current physical condition, I am beginning to wonder if I need to take a step back, because, in the words of Jorge Luis Borges "Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen causes the finale to be different from expected." But, if I'm not supposed to be creating new photos then what am I supposed to do?
When I was younger, my ambitions were to "read and dream and be fed tomato sandwiches and lemonades" a la The Beautiful and the Damned (review here) style, but now that I am often faced with the chore of lying about, I've discovered that F. Scott Fitzgerald's great philosophical question "What does one do with oneself when one has nothing to do?" is an incredibly difficult question to answer. I suspect a lot of people are asking themselves this question right now. COVID restrictions have curtailed many activities and, even those that are open, are generally more circumspect, and many more people are staying home.
I have, since the accident, struggled to find a balance between pushing myself too hard or allowing my woes to keep me lying about. Making it harder is that, there are always "those" days, when, regardless of my intentions, getting all of the dishes into the dishwasher is a win.
As a solution, I have been following the advice of Jean Pierre de Caussade, from his book The Sacrament of the Present Moment (review here), accepting that "The duties of each moment are the shadows beneath which hides the divine operation." and so, I have been concentrating only on what needs to get done and what I can do easily. I've also done some real paring back and have tried to eliminate all of the things that cause me angst (someone really needs to invent a reliable automatic toilet cleaner).
Fortunately, gardening (except for raking) does not aggravate my injuries, (I don't know why- see my earlier comment on "how-the-body-heals-after-significant-trauma" ) and so, I have decided that my big "task" has been to make my new house and yard pretty (this may turn into a home decor and gardening blog), although I will admit that there are many days that I have to allow Pete, my new robot vacuum to take over the housecleaning duties (I wish he did toilets) and I've spent the day reading and dreaming and waiting on the tomatoes in the garden.
Because, no matter what, I will always have my books to keep me busy (check out my latest reviews at www.riteoffancy.com).
xoxo a.d. elliott