Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Limping to the big moon




At this time of day my eyes don’t focus – I don’t allow them to.  There’s time for that later in the day.  But I know I’m not writing this in longhand because the sound of my keyboard is like a dull irregular heartbeat, thud, thud, thudding in my ears. I prefer the scratching of my pen point against a piece of crisp lined paper but I’m nearly out of composition books, which, for reasons I haven’t any interest in knowing, are the only things I can write in.  Have to make a stop at Wal-Mart when I get back to America and stock up. Not long now – just a few weeks and I’ll be there, then we’ll be there, and then west to the mountains for the first time with HH. 

My busted knee is much on my mind these days.  It was my first conscious thought when I swung out of bed this morning and made my way to the bathroom. I move carefully because more than anything else I don’t want the damned thing to pop again; I don’t want to feel that feeling again, but I probably will.  

Walking in the big mountains, the biggest our big country has to offer. I won’t be scaling cliffs or tackling desert crags but it will be challenge enough. The big sky, big land, big moon are waiting for me and my busted knee. I’ll wrap it up and wear the proper shoes and maybe even carry a stick for the downhill parts but I’ll be thinking all the time, thinking about that nascent balloon waiting to swell and hobble me.

I read a story this week about a man who had spent his life in the mountains.  One hot summer day, his knee gave out at the midpoint of a long hike.  It ballooned, as he described it, and it was only through sheer will and great pain that he made it out, to be followed by years of recuperation.  I doubt he takes a step without first thinking what it might mean for his knee.

So off to the big moon I limp, wrapped in elastic and urging my 9-year-old on. He won’t want to do it but I’ll be insistent and on busted old knee lead the way. 

June 26, 2013

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