I should have called this 'Donna Stewart Whining' istead of Donna Stewart Blogging, because that's what really seems to be going on here. I'm venting. I'm venting about blogging and letting myself and my expectations down as I continue rat-tat-tating at keys without producing anything remotely resembling the writer from the past. What was it? Was it Lore or motherhood that stripped me of my voice? I find myself seeking out the people I knew back when I was proud of my writing ability, back when I fell into trances infront of the computer screen and my fingers on the keyboard felt like keys on a piano. I composed. So, yea, that's what I'm trying to do here. I think it's getting a little better, though I still have tapped into 'the space.' I'm still not feeling it. part of me wants to find a writing class to see if that breaks the rust free from those brain cells and returns the feeling of elation, but that might cost money and I got the ix-nay last night on spending any more money.
Sooooo this is my practice arena. Why does there actually have to be a blinking line when you're not typing. It's like a tapping foot and makes me feel impatient. Okay, so I read in a book yesterday that you should draw from your life experience and write about it. In theory, you have a wealth of story ideas right there in your frontal lobe just waiting to be unearthed and exploited. So that's what i'm going to do. I'm not going to check my email once in the next 15 minutes...just going to write about....about...hmmmmmmm...should this be an ancient life experience? Maybe. Maybe I should choose from the life of Donna pre-Nila as I'm having so much difficulty remembering who that gal is and how her brain used to work. course I don't want the brain that I had then or the soul. the improvements are nice and maybe, like Darren says, a good life makes for boring reading or television. Sooooo...ah! Okay, the first thing that popped into my head was the day I fell off the cliff and broke my jaw and my wrists, though as I think back on it, well, it really wasn't that exciting. The most excitement would be in the approximately six seconds when I got to fly, rather rapidly and very briefly, through the air and the amazing fact that i actually had time and focus to think to protect my face. So hear goes....
It was a beautiful day in Durango, but most of them are weather wise so there was nothing remarkable in that. But anyway, it was beautiful with the temperature being that level of perfection that can only be found in Durango and the amount of humidity wafting through the air was just right having rained for twenty minutes earlier in the day, taking the parch away and leaving an invisible, yet detectable, mist rising from the earth. Being a high alpine desert, humidity in Durango can sometimes be so low the my skin turns white and flaky within seconds of being exposed to the air. But this summer had been mystical. It rained everyday for about 15 minutes in the morning and maybe 15 or 20 in the afternoon...like clockwork so it was easy to schedule around and prepare for the storms. There were flowers blooming everywhere that we just went a decade without seeing because of how dry it has been since. I was going hiking with John, a friend slash possible boyfriend. I wasn't sure about him, and he was dating another girl while pursuing me (i didn't know about that, btw) so it wasn't a particulary serious courtship...More like friends with the occasional heavy flirtation and enough drawn out chemistry that it might have made a slightly interesting layer to a television drama. Anyway, so he was living in this cool little AFrame out near Vallecito Lake. Everyone i knew seemed to find some cool little nook like this to live in back then. It was tiny, like maybe 15 feet long and seven feet wide. I don't think it even had a kitchen area. Just a bed and a desk. It suited him. As a driven environmentalists leading a semi-radical environmental organization, he spent a lot of time poring over documents and through books, looking and learning about what the forest needed and how to see that it got it. His desk was set against the wall, under a window whose sill held a collection of items you'd expect to see on the sill or shelf of an eight-year-old nature scout. Bits of moss, interestingly shaped sticks, rocks, leaves, and crystals. On the desk were stacks of National Forest Service documents and books with titles on nature, endangered species and biodiversity. I'm not sure why I remember that so vividly. I was only there the one time. But this day did turn out to be quite memorable for me, so perhaps that's why.
So there was a trail behind his little AFrame that meandered out into the Pine Forest behind his house and he had invited me to go exploring with him. As we hiked along, he was distracted by everything around him. I didn't understand this at the time, but two years later when he was on sabbatical and it was up to me to run the group, I understood very well. At the time, I just found it boring. He kept stopping to examine different aspects of the forest. A dead tree here, a non-native plant...and birds. He was a HUGE bird man. I used to make fun of him by suddenly pointing my finger at a bird whizzing by and shouting, "Look Kestral!" It was a bird that would ultimately change our relationship completely that day.
The trail had been following beside the river for a ways and we had come to an area where there were 30 foot tall cliffs towering about the water. I started climbing on them. In John's defense, i was being stupid. I hadn't really examined the rock or looked at where i was going. I just clambered on, excited to finally have something fun to do, to find some action. As it turns out, this was geologically way inappropriate for climbing. The rock was good for the first ten feet or so, but then came layers of flaky, crumbly shale like rock. it makes for an interesting striation on the cliff, but it's not something you want to climb on. I was a good climber so I was up in the shale pretty quickly and I realized what i was climbing on very quickly also. I thought John was right there, as he had been, as anyone else would have been if their hiking partner started climbing up a rock. Because of where I was, it seemed like it would be less dangerous to just head up and top out than to try to down climb, and anyway, I wasn't a talented enough climber to downclimb yet so I shouted out that I was heading on up. At about 20 feet, the rock became flaked off wherever I tried to grab and then my footholds broke off and I dropped. It didn't happen in the slow motion like you'd expect. It went fast, but it seemed that I moved fast too. My body somehow shifted so that I was parallel with the rapidly approaching ground. Really, it couldn't have taken more than just a few seconds but in those seconds i distinctly remember the roar in my ears, my eyes popping wide and then the realization that I was about to splatter my face on this big rock a the base of the cliff. I shouted to myself, "Not my face!" and put my hands out in front of me and turned my face away just in time to hit the rock first wit.h my hands, breaking both wrists, and then my jaw, breaking my jaw. I'll finish later
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