Monday, May 9, 2011

Back on the Horse


For the last two weeks, I’ve been having trouble sleeping. The pain in my right leg isn’t going away, so I’ll probably be going to the doctor soon. The irony of this ache is that it’s worst when I’m horizontal.

On Sunday I needed to prove to myself and the “men” who attacked me—it’s very hard to stop thinking about them—that I can carry on with life as though they’d never hurt me. So, limping out of bed, I made coffee and opened the hiking book. If I was going to prove anything to the thugs in my head, I needed a steep, hardcore slog.

We chose a mountain range about an hour away from our home. The article in the hiking book promised a four-hour exhausting slog to the top. The cable car wasn’t operating, so we’d have to walk down the mountain as well, which would be a grueling test for my knees. Perfect.

About an hour into the hike I found myself replaying the attack. Which is nothing new. I replay it many times every day, telling myself a hundred things I should have done differently, blaming myself for the stupid things I did to get myself into that situation. I’m writing about it right now only because I can’t think of anything else to write.

At that moment on the hike, my partner could tell I was thinking about the attack. He turned to me and said, “I can’t think of a more beautiful place.” He was right. It was a sunny day with a light breeze. There were millions of yellow and blue wildflowers everywhere. Birds and butterflies. Cows and mountain cabins. Exhausted hikers—many much more exhausted than I was with my bum leg—and indefatigable dogs. 

“The trick is not thinking of the ugly places,” I said.

Ignoring me as usual, he swept his arms out toward the valley, the green mountains beyond and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. “Just look at this view.”


The view was breathtaking, dizzying; some might even say divine. For as long as I can remember, whenever people are sad or worried or upset, I say, “Have you tried thinking of a meadow?” It’s a joke of course meant to poke fun at the whole positive-thinking trend; but maybe I could benefit from a little meadow meditation?

After all, why am I trying to prove anything to mean “men”? Why am I allowing them so much air time in my head? Hee hee. Yes, I am a bit of an airhead. Ha Ha. Yes, that was funny. Stop it. One reason I’m constantly reminded of the attack is because my leg still hurts. But I did walk four hours up and two hours down (thanks to gravity).

I went to the mountain to prove to myself that my body is healing, but I came away from it with a renewed sense of peace and beauty. And I’m sure I look prettier too.

I must be off,
Christopher

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Christopher Allen is the author of the absurdist satire Conversations with S. Teri O'Type