I only looked away for a moment. I got up from my seat of mindfulness, no longer confident in just being. I wanted control.
There were complications with my latest hip replacement surgery–a fracture that became my only focus, my only reason for being. Physically, it is some of the most demanding pain I have ever experienced.
I wanted to confine life, keep it within a frame, like the x-ray that revealed both fracture and hip-joint solidly secured, some 14 days after the surgery. That is good news but it is only one scene in a much larger picture.
Nerves, muscles, and tendons must rearrange themselves, adapting to hardware rigid in its lack of both flesh and bone. It is an attachment, and the body works to adapt.
This adapting is a series of attempts with no deadline, it seems. Sometimes, the signals interrupt all else in the body. It is taking me some time to “cultivate nonjudgmental openness” as Pema Chödrön calls it.
And I will not do it with such a narrow focus for to practice equanimity is to accept, again, that life is not mine to control nor to confine. It is for me to experience no matter how surprising. Life has many lenses.
My fracture is a surprise to the surgeon and to me but less so to the body, I suspect. For years, I have not had ball joints in either of my hips for my pelvic area is riddled with osteoarthritis. Perhaps the body welcomes both the hip-joint replacement and the plate for the fracture, relieving stress so the body can adapt to other areas of weakness.
Maybe, maybe not. It seems reasonable. Such is what Pema Chödrön calls the “never-pin-downable quality-of-life.” On some days, this is more wearying than others but if I persist in trying to pin down life, I attach to a moment already experienced. What is the point in that?
Mindfulness opens the uncertainty of the unknown as a possibility, maybe even an opportunity. Fractures and hip-joint replacements are experiences, not enemies. They are momentary, however long that may be. Each is a new life lens.
To aim for even is not to experience the easy, eschewing the painful. It is a delicate and ongoing balance of finding the way through, a dose at a time.
It is to trust in the peace of wild things, staying open to whatever arises.