Guest Post: That Damn Gravity

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A guest post from artist Jennifer Miller:

I was walking the dogs and thinking about different ingredients to try in my won ton wrappers.

When I tripped I was looking at the sky, a light rain kissing my face, and pondering little bits of fresh cayenne pepper, minced garlic and chopped shrimp. The ground came up at me so hard that I still wonder whether some spirit gave me a mighty shove.

When I hit, I heard something snap. I began a chant of expletives that lasted till I was in x-ray and being advised that I had a long path ahead toward recovery.

I got to be 58 without breaking a bone. But I wonder if being 58 had something to do with falling. Did my younger toes have eyes? Have my senses dulled?

I know other women, my age or older, who have also broken bones recently. The first question is “have you had a bone density test?” Lucky for me and my friends, none of us have osteoporosis. As my orthopedic doctor said, “You have good bones but bad luck.”

Yet I feel lucky. Aging isn’t all bad.

Experience is helpful: I paint with less constriction and more creativity.

When I plant a bush, I make sure the hole is big enough and there is sufficient mulch, which makes the bush happy too.

I can plan a meal and prepare it with pleasure, without mishaps (unless I drop the main dish while serving).

I know how to slow down and enjoy Summer.

It is rare that I feel depressed.

But something else is going on in my brain: Fog. More than before. Not being an attorney or teacher, I’m fine being lost in thought. But how could I forget to watch for roots on a path which I had walked for 30 years?

I am becoming airier. In this journey toward the ether, my core is dispersing a little.

It’s fine, I’m okay with it, except: Gravity is not my friend.  If it weren’t for fear of falling, I would spend more time lost in thought.

Instead I trod carefully, and keep my eyes on the ground.

But whenever possible, I go swimming.

Jennifer Miller is a painter with a studio in downtown Hillsborough, NC.

Painting:  Golden Day. Oil on canvas, 20 x24. To see more of Jennifer’s work, go to her website, http://www.waveoverwave.com/

Photo:  The artist painting  on the shore of the lower Cape Fear River. Photo credit, Jennifer’s sister, who is also an artist, Leslie Deede Miller.

10 responses »

    • You are so right. My daughter advised me to get back into yoga (which I had stopped while healing), and I think it is helping me — as it always does.

    • Thank you. The accident was in February and with lots of good PT and now a good yoga teacher I am almost 100 percent (whatever that means!!).

  1. I’m feeling the effects of gravity in other areas of my body, too, sadly! Sagging, bagging, drooping! Oh, well, we’ll keep up the good fight, for what it’s worth. (Loved your website!!!)

  2. What a wonderful description of mid life fog! It is an interesting state of mind. I guess caution is the key to the next phase. I really enjoyed this post and love your painting!!

  3. Hi Jennifer – Firstly, I love the painting! I’m 54+ and I trip all the time here on the farm now…I haven’t broken anything yet, but each time, I cringe at what could have been. I too am noticing ‘fog’ LOL, and for me, yoga helps, ridding my horse, but, I am trying to come to terms with…just letting my body do what it will do no matter what exercise or food I eat. I can’t seem to lose the 5# and my neck sags, among other areas- but then I go look at my beautiful animals- many old and sagging, and I realize I never focus on that in them. I’m so in the middle, I think it will be a relief to go to the after the middle.

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