by John Richmond
Falling! Look Out – Above!
It had only happened a few times in his life, but this last time—when he had to have stitches in his hand—was the starting point from which he began to give the occurrence some serious thought and consideration.
Many of the aspects connected with the “occurrence” were always the same: it happened at the kitchen sink; he was washing drinking glasses; the dish soap made the glass slippery and then—crash!
The glass would fall from his hands and the next thing he knew was that his fingers or his hand had been cut and was bleeding. It was quick, it was fast, and, sometimes, it was painful.
These were the things that he knew. But what he didn’t know was why, if the glass was already broke, why would he try and grab it?
He thought about this for quite some time, and it wasn’t until he was back at the sink washing a bowl that it came to him.
The bowl, like the broken glasses in his past, fell from his hands, but after hitting the bottom of the sink, did not break. In the instant that followed, he realized that what he did was to try and catch it before it hit.
But he had not caught the bowl in midair like he thought he would have done. No, rather, his hands were on the still, intact bowl as it sat at the bottom of the sink. It was a eureka moment that allowed him to understand that by the time he moved his hands to catch the bowl—or the glasses—it was too late. The only thing that he was doing was grabbing at broken glass, thus the cuts.
So with that firmly ingrained in his mind, he decided to discipline himself at the sink—whatever fell from his hands, be it utensil, metal pot, plate or especially a glass—he would do nothing but just let it fall.
Did he drop glasses that broke after that? Sure. Did he ever cut his fingers or hands, again? Never.
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John Richmond has “wandered” parts of North America for a good portion of his life. These “wanderings” have taken him from a city on the Great Lakes to a small fishing village, then on to a larger city on the Great Lakes- Chicago- then, eventually, New York City. Most recently, John Richmond has made his way to a small upstate New York hamlet where he divides his time between writing and discussing the state of the world with his coonhound buddy, Roma.