I have an unusual relationship with chairs.

Forty years ago, after falling off a horse and bodily taking down a post + rail jump, I was x-rayed (pre-MRI days) and was diagnosed with a cracked vertebrae. Twenty years later, countless MRI’s, three herniated discs and three children later, I had the cutting-edge surgery that stabilized my L-3, 4 and 5. But for four decades, I have had to adjust to a very different center of gravity.

Which leads me to chairs. And life.

I sit on the edge. Otherwise, my left leg goes to sleep or my sciatica barks. The trick is to sit at a certain angle, with butt bones hard against the edge, feet planted flat, straight upright. No slouching for me. In restaurants I make a beeline to the seat against the wall so I don’t trip the wait staff. At home, a very odd assortment of hard backed chairs, usually designated to the kitchen table or hallway are my choice for movies. In the kitchen I mostly stand. On airplanes I suffer and fight tooth and nail to book an aisle seat for stretching breaks.

Sometimes at dinner parties I switch the placecards.

I have to make demands for the best arrangement and be fearless about getting my way. So I don’t suffer. So those around me enjoy my company. Apply a little fearlessness so I can accommodate this alternative center of gravity and find peace.

Today, I worry for a friend and feel a sense of vertigo. I find myself on the edge of a high-backed red stained wooden chair, perched, searching for fearlessness, to find my center of gravity and core of faith. I watch my bird feeder teeming with birds and cast a prayer out to my friend, her family and the doctors that make her care team who are making difficult decisions.

I wish them fearlessness: Because even if no one agrees or you change the seating arrangements, you must sometimes be fearless to make things right.

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Olive prefers the couch.

 

 

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How To Be Fearless

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