Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Fall seven times, get up eight." - Chinese proverb

I always wanted to be a ballerina. As a child I took a class, dipping down like one of those wooden water birds that sip from a plate. I also took gymnastics, but quit after falling off the balance beam in such a way that I'm surprised I ever peed again.

I am not graceful. No matter how many yoga classes or tree poses or dances to "The Nutcracker Suite," I am pigeon-toed and off-kilter.

Which is how I found myself on the carpet last month, my cheek pressed into its fibers, my legs tangled in the dog gate. It was the first time in years where I've been so injured that I burst into tears. Way to go, graceful.

A month later and I'm still gimping along. Fortunately, I didn't tear a tendon (as originally thought) or need surgery (as originally proclaimed). I've gotten a lot of reading done while sitting in waiting rooms. Something called "rehabilitation" has entered my vocabulary, as well as "miniscus" and "effusion."

Recovering from a major injury is like heartache - you think you can rush out there and do things as before, but you find yourself inept or curled into a comma on the floor. My knee likes to trick me on the stairs and let go of its job as leg-holder-upper, spilling me thunk-a-thunk down the steps. It is a fine balance between relearning how to live and hoping things will stay the same, silver memories of running along a tire rut, a concrete-filled chest heavy with want.

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It interests me that two of the Best of the Man Booker "contestants" are stories about South Africa. I wonder how these books were chosen as "the best."

I still need to read The Conservationist, but it has to be pretty magnificent to beat Oscar and Lucinda. Your votes?

7 comments:

Jason said...

Well, at least you've never fallen down in the middle of a field in front of a professional football team.

Oh, wait . . .

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Mistress of the Post said...

The good thing is that you probably had a lot of time to read! :)

Kristin Dodge said...

Exactly, Jason. I am a Queen Klutz.

And I had hoped that you (and others) had forgotten that. Drat!

Lezlie said...

Ouch! I hope you're starting to feel better!

Lezlie

Stefania said...

Sorry to hear about that. I hope you will recover soon...

About the best of the Booker Prize: I haven't read most of the novels, so I can't really judge. Based on what I've read about the authors or some of their other works.
I'm halfway through "Disgrace" but I'm not particularly impressed. I had started "Midnight’s Children" but never finished (too complicated, but I might rethink about it if it wins).
"Oscar and Lucinda": I've seen the movie and hated it, but books are always better than movies, aren't they?
My hopes are on Nadine Gordimer. Even though I haven't read that specific book, I like the way she writes and her political commitment at the time of apartheid. However, Rushdie is more famous… I bet he wins…

Now that I’ve finished university I’m free to read more of what I like!

By the way, I think that the choice of two South African writers was made on purpose, to give some balance between different parts of the Commonwealth. Only one true English novel (Pat Barker), two ‘Anglo-Indian’ novels, two Africans and one Antipodean. They left the Caribbean out, but there wasn’t much choice apart from Naipaul among the winners.

Kristin Dodge said...

Stefania... I'm so glad that you're visiting my blog now. You add another smart voice to many. What you are saying makes perfect sense, though I think there are many underrated Caribbean writers, like Ruth Behar and Jamaica Kincaid (spelling?).

Stefania said...

Yes, I agree. What I meant is that Naipaul is the only Booker Prize winner from the Caribbean. A bit unfair for a region that hosts so many good writers...

I saw that you have Junot Diaz in your TBR list. I still haven't had the chance to put my hands on that book, but it seems a funny read (also because I studied Spanish at uni)!