Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On, In and Around Mondays: Or I'll kick you downstairs

Sunday evening I took a tumble down the stairs in our house - the ice-packs and the cups of tea administered immediately by friends certainly helped. Mild shock followed and then a night's sleep cut short too soon by the alarm clock. So I awoke on Monday feeling older than my days. Stiff in the joints and with a serious case of the go-slows that has endured into my Tuesday.

I've often thought of falling down stairs as something that happens to other people - to over confident kids or infirm elderly people. The truth is I fell because I was trying to multi-task, to rush. Trying to put on a sweatshirt and hurry down the dimly lit stairwell in stockinged feet. In short, I wasn't paying attention. Sure the polished wood of the steps is slippery all the time but...

I think life is kind of like my tumble down the stairs. The way in front of us has hazards that are visible to us. We acknowledge them and forge ahead all the same. It's when we try to rush through, try to do too many things at once. When we stop paying attention this is when we stumble. This is when we fall along the way. Someone there with tea and a cold compress is helpful when life rattles me like this but where to from here? How to move forward? More slowly, one thing at a time, pay attention to what's there in front of me.

Here's my favourite version of "Father William" by Lewis Carroll - a great recitation is always enjoyable but I love the delightful singing and dancing in this version.
"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs!"

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