If I’d had a choice, I would have preferred to go down while knifing a Kraken sea monster in the raging Pacific, or after saving a toddler from a fire-engulfed home, the burning floorboards giving way beneath my feet. Instead, I’d finished a lovely dinner with a vibrant librarian and she accidentally fell against me in the rainy dark. I crashed to the bitumen, breaking and displacing my tibia plateau (top of the shin bone) and later fracturing my fibula (calf bone).
It set off a series of events: an ambulance rushing me through flood waters and a 15-hour wait in emergency for urgent knee surgery, only for the hospital registrars to discover they didn’t have the necessary parts. I had to wait two more days for the procedure which required sixteen titanium screws and a plate to reattach and secure my wayward tibia. Yes, you should see the snapshots.
Certainly, it wasn’t a run-of-the-mill week for this fantasy author whose daily highlights normally consist of grinding coffee beans and writing kick-arse YA scenes.
Now back home, a little muddled, a little drugged, and pain radiating from a braced leg that’s banned from action for six weeks, I ponder upon this spanner in the works and who authored its arrival. Maybe it was Calliope, muse of heroic stories, trying to impart a message of significance or inspiration. Or maybe it was Eris, the goddess of chaos, just yanking my chain.
Problem is… I’ve always been a great believer in destiny, especially that we can be our own creators when we adopt a little imagination and a lot of hard work, but this spanner had me checking the fine print.
Less than two months ago, my life flashed before my eyes when a Landcruiser and trailer overlooked a road sign and collided with our ute as we were travelling 100kmh along the highway. Our vehicle was totalled, but bro-in-law and I escaped the wreckage, but for slipped discs. Now he swears to his wife (my beloved sister) that it’s safer driving a car than dining out (he’s off the hook this Valentine’s Day).
But was the universe speaking to me? Were these signs that I should write more or write less? Work harder or spend more time with loved ones? Focus less on the trivial or more on the positive?
Maybe I, too, need to pay less attention to “signs” and focus on what’s important: Forging ahead with my goals, even if I require a keyboard and crutches instead of Shahkara’s compass and sword.
Now I think about it, I was darn lucky I didn’t break my leg battling that monster – there’s nothing heroic about drifting along the seabed as Kraken poop.
Fortunately, broken bones can mend nearly as quickly as the human spirit. That’s because it’s goals, like our stories, that keep us feeling alive.