A few days ago, exactly a week after my birthday, I got into my first car accident. And it was great!
By great, I mean no one was seriously hurt. Great, in a best-case-scenario sort of way… There was the great (and insured) couple who crashed into me. A great many witnesses, who called the police for us. And extra great was the relief that the doberman – who ran into the street, causing the collision – ran off unscathed, however startled.
While the policeman processed the papers in his car, the couple and I talked about our love for dogs. Somehow we also shared a love of Grease 2, which led us to discuss Maxwell Caulfield in Empire Records. And for a brief moment I secretly wondered if I was suffering a serious brain injury, because I couldn’t remember Rex Manning’s name in the moment, though I did not say this out loud.
Out loud, it was all very easy to relate. Yet another thing to be grateful for. Easy to discern the cause and effect, easy to diagram with hand motions to friends, to family. I could take comfort in the neat outline of the crash, that it was an acceptable reason to have an accident, that I hurt no one.
Later in the week, at work, my boss told me the new moon lies in my planet (?), that I can do anything I set my mind to. In a word, that I am lucky. To emphasize the feeling, I finally took on one of the many projects I’ve kept in my mind to do. A small side project. Ink.
Joy, peace, and prosperity indeed.
It took me a while to realize that I was upset, despite all these blessings. Startled. Shaken. How quickly the accident had happened, and how little I could have done to avoid it, rattled my insides with a deeply unsettling feeling. When the policeman arrived on the scene, asked who was responsible for the accident, and complimented the couple for their honesty, I realized how simple it was for someone to be dishonest. How simple it was for such a thing to be difficult. And then — how simple it was for all of this to have been much more than an accident.
At work yesterday, my sweet work family made me get on a treatment table. My neck and back were rubbed with oils, scraped with gua sha. Heavy marks of whiplash revealed themselves in reds and deep purples. As if I’d been cage fighting, and lost — is what I look like. I was also needled with more needles than I’d ever had at once, which left me light headed when I woke up. But there was a relief in me, a release. A comfort in all the care. A gratefulness for this life, this world. So complicated and simple all at once.
Now is the time to be busy, to make many things, to push that luck, and honor all blessings. Time to heal and build against what isn’t important, what isn’t edifying. And it’s always time to be thankful. Always time to hold the ones you love a little bit closer. Time to laugh longer and louder, to raise your hands in the air in a very human hallelujah.