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,
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.