A few weeks ago someone asked me “Don’t you ever get frustrated?” He meant my prosthetic leg. He’s the father of one of my son’s oldest friends, and we hadn’t seen each other in a while. We natter like best mates when we catch up. What I thought, but didn’t say, was ‘No, I don’t’. In truth, I did; but that was a long time ago.
Trauma changes you and there is no deadline for recovery. Getting out the other side is not a hurdle race. You don’t jump over it; you wade through it.
A few days ago I saw ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ at the Dendy Cinema in Newtown. It was cool in the cinema, but a hot, dry wind met me on the street, when I stepped out, my mind still floating in the fugue of the film, my body almost frigid from the aircon ... Sometimes lives can turn on one moment.
Missing Footnotes is a year old this month. The first post, Why It’s Taken Four Decades to Tell My Story, was published on 7/02/2017 and forty-four blogs and news items have followed. I’d never envisaged having a blog, but when I finished my manuscript, All Stations to Waterfall, I had a passion to keep writing.
Did you listen to your mother’s tales when you were small? Your life still in single digits, did you snuggle beside her on a sofa or cuddle up talking together in bed? Those hallowed, heavenly days when nothing could harm you with her by your side.
I opened the door a smidgen and looked out. Coming towards me was a guy over 180cms, built like a triangle pivoting on one point, in a military looking outfit, with a gun clipped to his belt and his eyes looking straight at me. He entered, alone.
Do you have a sinking feeling and wonder “Why me?” when you’re singled out of the security line in an airport? Returning from a conference in Spain recently my son said he was pulled out for full security checks at several airports and asked “What is about me that makes them pick me out?” I had no idea. But I know why I’m dragged out every time; I’m an amputee.
We’re constantly laying down memories. The rich experiences of our lives are stashed away in our minds in a seemingly impossible way. It’s so simple, so automatic, and so much! Recalling memories is where it gets complicated.
I look forward to the Byron Writers Festival every year—a feast of ideas, books and food in an idyllic place. This year’s Festival was as fantastic as ever.
I was determined my foot would survive and I’d walk again, but the medical prognoses were guarded. My unbudgable belief was simply the magical thinking of a child—but the magical thinking of a child can be powerful; it sustains hope against hope and without that we’re vulnerable to helplessness, despair and depression.