I’m going to shower you all with quotes on this one, so bear with me. In science class, when I was in 8th grade, the guys used to say it was time for “Life Lessons with Lara” whenever I would give a quote or make a connection between science and life…I hope you all are not groaning now. 🙂 (Isn’t the alliteration painful?!)
Almost two month ago, I had a car accident and came out unscathed. I remember most vividly, when I lost control of the car after being hit, seeing the cement barrier coming closer. I remember when I realized hitting it was inevitable. Then I let go of the wheel and let it happen. I remember thinking, okay, this is it. I’m ready.
The panic set it after I opened my eyes. I felt the impact and the airbag, and when both were over, I realize I was okay. After a quick assessment, I panicked. When I tried to move the car, it spun around 360 degrees, and somehow, I was able to pull off to the median. It’s shocking to me that I didn’t get hit a second time. The car was totaled.
Mentally, it was hard to come back from the shock. I went to work right after, and I think that helped ground me. There’s something about accepting what you think your fate is then realizing it’s something different that is terribly disturbing. In A Severed Wasp, Madeleine L’Engle said:
There’s a theory which I take seriously… that we live until we do whatever we’re meant to do. Mozart started composing at an incredibly early age, and when he died young he had accomplished the purpose for which he was born.
I started posting here a lot more after that accident happened. I don’t know why I made it out, but I do think about that a lot. Accidents are more obvious ways that shake us up, but I think there are hundreds of little disasters we don’t know about that we’re protected from.
I remember I turned on the light and stood in front of the mirror, looking at myself, frightened because people thought when they were getting ready for bed, and didn’t think about me because I wasn’t the most important thing in their lives at all. Mother and Father’d always made me feel that I was important, and now all of a sudden I realized I wasn’t. How can you be important when nobody knows about you? It very frightening to realize you aren’t important after all.
Camilla’s a wonderful coming of age novel (much more a female Catcher in the Rye than Anthropology of an American Girl is). I think Madeleine’s right. It’s a shocking day when we realize how very, very tiny we are. I don’t think that diminishes our importance in any way. If we remember that the death of a butterfly can cause an earthquake in another galaxy, then our littlest actions are of the utmost importance, even if we are not important in the eyes of others.
If I thought I had to say it better than anybody else, I’d never start. Better or worse is immaterial. The thing is that it has to be said, by me. We each have to say it, to say it in our own way. Not of our own will, but as it comes out through us. Good or bad, great or little: that isn’t what human creation is about. It is that we have to try.
Just trying counts for an awful lot. So this blog is part of how I responded to the accident. I don’t know what blogging will lead to, or even what will come after that. I don’t understand a lot of things or why things happen. But I do know that trying is worth the effort.
Our truest responsibility to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find the truth.