I’m trapped here at home while I recover from shoulder surgery. Six weeks have passed and I am now allowed to type with two hands (small victories), so I am sharing some notes from my journal. I hope that when this is all over, and I am out the other side, I will at least have some shiny prose to show for it. Love to you all, Katrina.

Six weeks since surgery. I have no schedule. I am not getting any work done. Constantly, I worry about my arm, and this worry blossoms into a pool that drenches every waking thought, every dream. Everything is covered in worry. I am done with pain medication; but I miss it. I’ve been avoiding clarity like the windows at night.

The sadness seems to dissipate, not thick like drowning in sorghum like it was just three days ago. Like standing all day on a precipice looking down. Unable to step either forwards or back. My legs quivering with the effort of stillness. But then, I blink and the scenery has changed. Now, a vast desert. Hot, dry, lonely. Populated by sparse cactus and a forever noonday sun. How long will this last? And what comes next?

My arm is withering. Hard, sharp bone where plump muscle used to be. Withering, it seems, in time with my will—with everything I’ve worked for. Changed in an instant, but before you can get a handle on that, continually changing—deteriorating. Surely there is a valley to come, and after that an uphill climb back to where I was. Where was I, anyway?

Discipline doesn’t know where to find me. I am not at jiu-jitsu. She has been evicted, and, homeless, wanders lost, around my mind. Never settles.

I am invisible. I feel inauthentic, faking it through every day. Maybe if I fake it through enough consecutive days something real will emerge, like a magic spell, and someone will see me.

My body is weak. Like Russian nesting dolls, a smaller version of myself locked away inside a larger one. I was trying to forget her. But now the larger one, having been cracked open like a walnut, is gone. And she is all there is. Small and vulnerable. Gone pale with age, with nothing to offer but fear because even a predator with a broken wing is only prey.

But maybe something is different this morning. A new angle to the light that cuts through the window. An immediacy to the song the birds sing. The promise of Summer—the sweet, hot, wet of Florida Summer. As I sit here, watching these words skitter across the page, I realize that I am writing. And the writer, after all, controls the tense; past, present, future. I’m in control. I decide. What will I choose today?

 Gone pale with age, with nothing to offer but fear because even a predator with a broken wing is only prey.