Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Grabbed My iPod

It has seen me through 11+ hour workdays – staring at a computer, long car drives, house cleaning, and numerous walks through the neighborhood.  If I didn’t still have my “unicorn blanket”, I received when I was eight, my iPod would be my security blanket.  In some ways it is.
I was nervous.  Everything out in the garage brings a new kind of fright with it.  What if the scroll saw breaks?  The oscillating sander spins out of control?  The tip of the Dremel spins off and kills me?
What about all the things I can’t possibly imagine?!?
The only way I’ve ever let go of fear is by doing.  Doing the very thing I’m most afraid of…and letting the fear go.
It’s not just the fear in that something “could” happen, though.  It’s that I loathe the very thing – that miter saw – that struck my face.  I’m bitter.  Yep.  B.i.t.t.e.r.
I’m beyond upset that my face may never again be the way that it once was.  Tears well in my eyes, still, at the thought of it.  Although, I hold out hope for the 3-4 times a day treatments I do with Vitamin E Oil and Mederma, hoping to reduce the scarring.  The scar, though, isn’t my only concern.  Part of my upper lip won’t smile like it used to, and mourning the potential loss of my smile breaks my little heart.
I’ll admit to “flipping the bird” at the miter saw, as I walked past it today.
I feel guilty.  I have so much to be thankful for – given that my husband was home when the accident happened, that it wasn’t much worse, that the wood block didn’t hit me just a fraction of an inch more to the right, hitting my nose square on…because then I may not even be sitting here right now.
Regardless of all of that, though, I can’t help my heart breaking over the scars that did happen – physically and emotionally.  Not to mention the pain I still feel – I can’t blow my nose yet, and it hurts when I laugh.  Seriously.  Laughing, hurts.
I get all these charities mailing me all the time.  A long time ago, I remember getting one from “The Smile Train”.  It’s a charitable organization fixed on helping children with cleft lips and pallets.  I distinctly remember thinking something to the effect – isn’t it more important to give these kids food?  Education?  Than “just” fix a smile?
Yep.  That’s what I thought.
You don’t know how important a smile is, until yours is in jeopardy.  (hangs head) Lesson learned.  Check’ll be in the mail.
I’ve started slow.  I used the past couple days to place wood onto the carving machine to get some projects started.  There is such minimal risk.  The machine, itself, has it’s own “face mask” and I pretty much just push buttons.  It does the rest, as I tend to things like painting, photography, or laundry.
But the carved planks have just been sitting there.  There was nothing in me that wanted to do this anymore.
Today was the day, I decided.  I opened the garage door to let in some fresh air, and donned my iPod.  “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang was in the middle of playing.  ”We’re gonna have a good time tonight….”
I thought, “Man, I’m so not in the mood for this,” but I kept it playing anyway.  I kept it playing while I measured each cut, and used the T-square to draw each line.
“Celebrate good times, come on!”
As I finished, I was well into “Love Come” from Sarah McLachlan‘s newest album, which played twice for some reason.
I approached the scroll saw as “Had Enough” by Lifehouse started playing.  I cleared the bench area, and everything on the floor.  I put on my “new” face helmet, left my ear phones in, and put on my all too familiar ear muffs that appear to be the kind that airport ground control use.
I moved more cautiously than ever before.  Slower.  More mindful.
As the, now, cut boards started stacking up, “Everything” by Ryan Stuart started playing. I was starting to see what I used to love about this.  The pieces, once all joined together, coming to life as they are split apart.  The smell of the wood filling my senses…
The joy of creation.
The scroll saw made the board jump.  I jumped straight out of my skin, with it, and turned the machine off.  I could literally feel my heart beating in my chest.  I closed my eyes, regained composure, soaked in the music.
I opened my eyes, took a deep breath, and turned the scroll saw back on.  I was able to finish all the cuts.
I stacked all the boards up on my husband’s workbench, and plugged in the oscillating sander.  As I was sanding away, “Boy Meets Girl” by Evan Taubenfield started playing, and I was back in my groove.  As some sides weren’t as straight as I liked, the joiner was used, albiet slowly and cautiously.
“Like Twisted Sister, meets Mr. Mister…” my head started nodding.  Seeing the, now sanded, objects coming more and more to life, this very blog post started forming in my head, and my now crooked smile, cracked across my face as the walls of fear dissolved around me.
It’s not easy to begin again.  It’s scary.  But, sometimes, facing your fears shows you how strong you really are.
Break’s over.  Time for the Dremel and “Rock Around the Clock”.  I’m nothing, if not eclectic.

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