“An artist without an idea is mendicant; barren. He goes begging among the hours.”
-Irving Stone- “The Agony and the Ecstasy,” a biographical novel of Michealangelo
Well, dear readers, I HAVE been “begging among the hours,” but finally come to you with an idea. A NON-story:
I practiced yogic breathing and distraction through creating fantastic stories in my head as I lay looking at the camper ceiling.
Deep abdominal breathing, noting and dismissing thoughts of place or pain.
I was in a Western Carriage dressed in bonnet and bustle, drawn by a shiney black galloping pair with feathered fetlocks as occasional Saguaro and Ocotillo tops slid by my side window. Sioux drove shaggy shouldered bison through arroyos and paid us little heed. I turned the sound of rattling spice jars in the cupboard into the crack of the coachmans’ long whip.
This was fairly effective all the way to Guerrero Negro till I wrenched my knee furthur trying to use the john in the camper. Wouldn’t have happened in the carriage. They would have stopped for a lady to do her business behind a tree. But a squat would have been unthinkable, anyway.
Guerrero Negro had several Pharmacias and R, relentless as always, visited all of them on foot in the heat of the day and returned with: A new pair of aluminum crutches and matching aluminum cane, 20 tablets 37.5 mgTramadol and two 30 mg “Ketorolaco”sublinguil and a working knowledge of how to ask for something stronger than ibuprofen… “Mas Forte.”
I was able to ride in the cab with Mas Forte the whole 250 miles to Loreto.
We hadn’t planned on stopping there till January 15, but arrangements were made by email.
I was told by a guest dining at Malarrimo, (the locally famously good restaurant in Gurrero Negro whose back area had an RV place of sorts and whose name meant “bad harbor”) that I really needed to work on my story.
I had tried explaining the crutches when he asked and it really was the most pathetic piece of nonfiction possible.
My right knee, my BAD knee has a GOOD story. It involves vaulting over a horse in gym when I was young. It involves a really bad break with hardware and surgery and toe to groin casting and highschool in a wheelchair.
But my wrong knee, my GOOD knee has such a lame ass story I have been trying to prop it up ever since!
We had just crossed the border. Camping not far from Tecate near La Bufadora. I was walking on the beach. That’s it. R thought I had gone a very long way because I was gone quite some time. Actually, I was walking exceedingly SLOWLY on that flat cool LaJolla beach, and actually wondered if I would ever make it back to the camper.
There was no fall, no shark, no thrashing by masked gunmen. Just the wear and tear of an ill-used overburdened joint. I could feel the gravelly sensation of bone on bone with perhaps some rogue boney bits floating around and irritatingly misplaced.
It seemed I might need to be flown home. It seemed I might need two cortisone injections: one for the knee, one for the sciatica, also in the L leg and equally responsible for making sitting as impossible as walking.
It seemed Tequila should be involved. Alas, The story is so boring it doesnt even involve a good bender. No abandonement or mercy killing by the frustrated spouse. No accidental leg removal in a remote Mexican hospital and no shaman healing with chants and smoke and visions.
We made it. The knee is healing with rest and very gentle excercise, ice and ibuprofen. Today, R schlepped the paddleboards and Kayak to the morning calm of Loreto Bay. I fancy being able to join the whales when they come for Christmas.
Not only did the Bougainvaillia bend brilliantly to circumnavigate the pressing weight of the cement ceiling, it generously provided a sheltered nest for other creatures waylaid at this complex and difficult juncture.
This image reminded me of my knee knitting patiently under its load of yours truly. I was looking up at it while reclining and icing my knee.
I really did want to give you a story.
You’ll have to settle for this twisted, determined vine and mysterious nest for now, and whether you are healing or resting where the whims of fortune or fate have found you, know that I am wishing you well.