The universe whacks me upside the head… Well, more like a kick in the calf…

May 19, 2008 in Israel | Comments (0)


It’s been a month. More than a month, actually. On the one hand, the time has flown by. But even with the rapidly flying calendar pages a month can be a very long time.
Especially when you find yourself creatively constipated.
In my case it’s largely due to the fact that for the last several weeks (four weeks, to be specific) I could have sworn I was sitting on a large pile of what felt like five or six chewy blog posts.
That rather lumpy mass, however, was something else in disguise.
My last post to this site, was part of my ongoing ruminations from Israel. The trip, sparked by my participation at Kinnernet 2008 and enabled by my inclusion in the TravelingGeeks, largely fell into the “business” category of things, but after a powerful day in Jerusalem I found my pattern of posting from the road interrupted.
We had several more great experiences on the trip, each of which inspired an array of ideas for commentary. All of which I began – and then abandoned to the draft folder on my computer.
One by one the stories emerged, and one by one I began the dutiful process of capturing the ideas and beginning to sort them. (My first pass on writing anything more resembles a ball of yarn after a kitten’s gotten hold of it than something with any semblance of reasonable sequiturs.) Overstimulated with little time to process each adventure, I found myself unable to focus on completing anything.
Thus the stories began to back up, and as the trip was coming to an end I knew that once I got home, it was back to the rapid-pace adventure of Seesmic business development with little to no opportunity to clear out the backlog.
A bit of time passed (don’t recall how long, but it was within a couple of weeks) and the TravelingGeek squad began tossing around emails regarding closure for the live chronicling of our adventures.
I had these posts to do and there was no WAY I’d get them done.
Rethinking the situation I figured why not just toss out a set of bullet point observations from the balance of the trip, perhaps with a dash of pith and eloquence (or at least a smidge of wit), and call it a day.
Even that proved impossible. Hitting the ground moving at about Mach 4 upon my return, the brief window of respite required to give me the time to focus even to jot down a list eluded me. Days began to whip by even more quickly, and each day my to-do list had the glaring entry – ‘FINISH POSTS FROM ISRAEL’.
But alas even increasingly large print, all bold, all capitalized please from my own psyche failed to work.
Then the universe helped me out.
It was May 16, 2008. My pal Jessica Corbin and I had agreed to play in a softball game. It was the first inning. It was a bit of an odd start – mostly because I found myself playing 3rd base. (Generally an inadvisable place for a leftie to play, but that’s neither here nor there with this tale.) About four batters in, with one out and a runner on first, it happened.
It was a beautiful pitch, and the batter connected.
Crack. (Well, more like “ping” since all the bats are metal alloys these days.)
Flying off the bat, the ball soared over my head – clearly a shot headed for the outfield.
Then the wind shifted. The ball began to drop short.
It was very clear, very quickly that the ball was going to drop just behind me. A bellow from the center fielder who had a clear view of the ball’s trajectory confirmed my assumption: “BROOKS! It’s yours!”
Turning I took two steps back, placing myself well in position. I then pushed off my right leg to give myself the extra height I needed to snare the ball.
The first sound was a welcome one. The ever-satisfying and resounding contact of ball meeting leather.
The second sound – well, more like a sensation really – came simultaneously … and was far less pleasing.
That came from my right leg.
The good news is that I held on to the ball, and we secured our second out of the inning.
The bad news is that I spent what was left of the inning standing on one leg, realizing that something was awry in my right calf.
Hobbling off the field after the next out, I headed for the dugout.
More good news – the team that played just before us was a group of pharmacists and doctors. Running me through a series of “Does it hurt when you do this? How about now? Can you move your ankle?” the group consulted and then agreed – either a deeply pulled muscle or perhaps a tear. Now that tear could have been a small tear in the muscle itself or perhaps off the bone, but regardless the treatment would be the same.
RICE – of course referring to the acronym and not to the application or consumption of starchy grains.
My personal experience is that the universe has an uncanny knack for serving up precisely what you need at the time you need it.
My writing style needs space – mental and physical. It also needs light. With the substantial clog of partly formed story bits in my brain, none of them could form. And I certainly couldn’t get out anything new until I stopped to breathe.
Or until something knocked the air out of me.
So here I sit … well … here I lay, actually. (There’s a sad decadence to typing away on my computer while propped up on a frothy stack of pillows with my bum wheel perched atop a leg wedge from my chiropractor and a sack of frozen peas.) And so in this diagonal state I’m choking down a massive serving of content bran, which in my case means I’ve cleared off my kitchen table, sorted and taken care of the stack of mail, and most importantly, I let myself be still and wrote this blog post; which means I can finally tie up the loose ends from my Israeli adventure in April and truly turn my eyes towards what’s next.


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