Everyone carries scars and deformities that s/he will never forget. Recently, I walked a friend through the stories found on my right arm. For me, it was a fun journey filled with memories and lose threads where the details are just beyond my reach.
The oldest one was a fantastic moment in high school. In a too early in the morning physical education class, we had paired up to go through a series of one on one competitions. The one that stands out for me was a contest where the two combatants stood back to back with interlinking arms. On the mark, each side tried to lift the other off the ground. In my mind’s eye, I was perfect, focused, and in a magical zone. The only thing I could see what a visual image of lifting Dave. There was nothing before that moment or beyond. On the mark, I released myself fully and completely into the image! Dave had morphed from a genuinely nice guy into an evil enemy. In my memories, I was screaming a variation on the psalmist’s words, “Moab’s a scrub bucket – I mop the floor with Moab, Spit on Edom, rain fireworks all over Philistia.” (Psalm 108.9)
I do not remember the feeling that came as I lifted Dave off the ground. I do recall the moments that followed, as I stumbled forward, my right foot catching in a small gap in the floor mats placed over the concrete slab. My trip and all of Dave’s weight combined met as my right fist hit the map. For an instant, there was a perfect pivot on a single point. 300 pounds on one side meeting concrete cushioned by a thin mat on the other. In the next instance, there was a snap as two bones fractured in my arm and everything within me going to black.
No one was at fault. In hindsight, while I would never want to experience the pain of that moment, I am reluctant to trade the memories that followed during the nine-month recovery period and beyond.