Today marks the 20th anniversary of the day of my accident. The details of the accident are not really necessary to mention, other than the fact that a balcony was involved. I remember going back to that apartment complex a few years afterwards and noticing how all the balconies had been rebuilt. The owner no doubt must have known of the incident and set about the task of having all the balconies remodeled. I did not file a lawsuit nor gain any compensation. I actually knew the owner, and I remember what a miserly type he was. Those balconies had been rundown forever. At least my tragedy made it so no one else might get hurt.
Now, twenty years later, the condition in my ankles is as nearly painful as the day it happened. I can’t believe it happened to me, my entire life being ruined. What a long road it has been, and to think that I am still trying to compensate: physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually. I never gave up, but I’ve learned some untoward things about life, people and family, and endured some things even worse. For the people who say they wouldn’t change anything about their past if they had the chance, I am not of this camp.
One night about six years ago I grew curious about my life, why everything seemed so depressing, and as a result, I began reflecting, from my deepest childhood memories to more recent times. This activity led me to create a document called a CHRONOLOG. In it I began with my date of birth, then listed the main components of my life, year by year: age, city, school, people, vehicles, etc. After each bulleted list for each year, I went through and wrote a paragraph about the seasons of each one of those years, according to what I could remember best. The document is still growing. Each time I do a little editing, I find I correct a date here, erase a sentence there, so as to improve the accuracy. Pairing something in my life with a major event in history or a movie I had seen helps me to identify what was going on with me at any certain period of time. In this manner, I have created a file such that, when I read from beginning to end, I get the dish on my entire life in about a two-hour span. Each time, the reflective process, it makes me think…about all that stuff.
What’s interesting is how the document denotes two radical shifts. The first is the date of the accident. Here, my life activity goes from a semi-happy state, to an instant shut down. The second coincides with the changing of the millenia, that in which I left behind an entire world, and moved on to another. The earlier world consisted of people who knew about the accident and watched me suffer. The millenia marks how I couldn’t tolerate being a spectacle anymore. I have not seen any one of those people in fifteen years or more, though I wonder about some of them at times.
The document also delineates the process in which certain aspects appeared and disappeared from my life. From age 11 to 30, I was essentially a musician. Most notably, I was a “serious” musician from age 11 to age 23, up to the point of the accident. From there, I clung to my musicianship in a sort of thunderstruck daze as I watched my life fall apart. From age 30 to age 36, I existed between a state of confused musicianship to that of writing. I didn’t know how to continue being a musician anymore, because the previous ten years had been so traumatic. As I began writing and going to school for literature, my music teacher warned me about neglecting music. He said that people who excel at music from an early age will develop a ghost-emotion effect if they abandon their talent. He was right. The emotions I felt when I played on stage were so incredibly satisfying that, nowadays, when I go about any business that I have, I still reel with the feeling that something is missing.
The only thing that came of any practical use out of this mess concerns my spirituality. I feel much freer inside realizing how I have never observed nor confirmed a single supernatural event. The more I pursue the concept of reality, in relation to a spirituality that operates in terms of psychology and bodily awareness, the more bearable my existence is.
And though I had to learn the hard way that people without families* who become disabled encounter the worst that life has to offer, not only can I put the instance into perspective with those who have life both, worse and better than I, but I can also suggest that there is enough time left to learn from my experience and my CHRONOLOG to hopefully find a measurable amount of happiness.
*My adopted family split up into pieces and scattered seemingly into the dust when I turned 18.