When Walls Crumble

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” is the opening line of Robert Frost’s poem, “Mending Wall.” It is a favorite poem, especially when I remember it has been over 50 years since I first discovered it.

I can no longer recite it from memory but a few lines return, usually when I wish to flee certain circumstances. In this case, it is preparing for the first of two hip joint replacement surgeries.

The actual surgery seems less invasive than the recovery, which seems immense, involving a whole team of people for a considerable amount of time.

I am not the best of team players. I have had years of practice of caring for myself, taught by professionals. I guard my solitude, my independence, fiercely.mending-092716

In Frost’s poem, two Maine landowners perform their spring ritual of reinforcing a rock wall. It keeps land separate from land. Every year nature, the magic of elves, a burrowing animal, or a thoughtless hunter manage to break through the wall, often clumsily.

Well, that is how I imagine the intrusion. Life interrupts; walls crumble.

“Good fences make good neighbors” is the belief of one neighbor while the other wonders how that could be true.

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
(Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”)

Too often, I was the neighbor who believed in good fences. For years, I mended my walls, whether or not I gave offence.

Now, my aging fences are no longer as neat or complete. I am the neighbor who knows there is no walling in or walling out the world.

It is not good fences that make good neighbors but good manners, a respect and reverence for meeting life on its terms, to be a team player.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

8 thoughts on “When Walls Crumble

  1. ammaponders

    Oh, I do understand. I like being behind a wall. Surgery and recovery are very hard for my introvert self. I often have to just remember to breathe, to be pleasant and to find solitude whenever possible. I wish you patience, caring caregivers, and peaceful healing.

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    1. KM Huber Post author

      Clearly, you do understand, Robin! I am in Tonglen practice so that I may give as well as receive compassion. Perhaps it really is a good thing that preparations began 3.5 weeks before the surgery. I need time to mull over the required ” Joint Adventure” class offered by the hospital’s orthopedic center.I could not ever have anticipated that experience. I will follow your advice in remembering to breathe and maintain an even demeanor. I suspect pleasant is not realistic. 😉

      Thanks so much, Robin, fellow introvert.
      Karen

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    1. KM Huber Post author

      Thanks, Craig. Currently, I am a bit overwhelmed by what seems to me a rather straightforward procedure, certainly nothing compared to cervical fusion. Three and 1/2 weeks from now, I guess I’ll know.
      Karen

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  2. Matthew Wright

    All best wishes for your surgery – and for a swift and safe recovery. A life with assistance and support teams definitely has a different balance point from one without – but I’m sure you will find it.

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    1. KM Huber Post author

      Thank you, Matthew. I guess I should have indicated that preparations for this surgery begin about 3 1/2 weeks out.

      Yesterday, I attended a required”class”–Joint Adventure–that explained the team approach. Honestly, I doubt I will be any good at it but as you say, I’m looking for balance. It was so evident that joint replacement surgery has become quite a business. As one who is skeptical of the medical profession, I did not enjoy the “adventure.” One could invest a minor fortune in assistive equipment; also, I was not impressed with the “just in case” medications. I’m glad I have time to process all this information. As I say, I have been taught by many professionals, over the years.

      I have not stopped practicing yoga, which I believe will make a huge difference. So far, it certainly has in terms of my progress was spinal cord disease. As I indicate in my latest post, Tonglen is my practice.;) Again, thanks, Matthew.

      Karen

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