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Monday
Feb202012

Crash

I got rear-ended on the way to pick Ezra up from school one afternoon last week. The other driver and I pulled into the nearest parking lot to inspect the damage. She didn't speak much English and my limited Spanish is rusty at best, and particularly useless under the circumstances.  I did understand, with complete clarity, what she was saying when she looked at me nervously and asked if I was going to call the police. The damage was minor and I had no desire to get the police involved so we agreed to let our insurance companies sort it out.

The accident happened near my house, a momentary collision of two worlds. We orbit the same neighborhood, but different universes. We are hermetically sealed inside our cars, our ethnicities, our classes, but a split second of dropped guard punctured the thin membrane that separates our experiences.

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I received word last week that the daughter of a former colleague died. She was 23, grown into young adulthood in the years since I spent time with her. The speakers at her memorial told stories of her spunk, courage and independence in the face of Muscular Dystrophy. Speaker after speaker told stories of knowing her since early childhood, or of decades-long friendships with her parents.

The service was at turns somber, funny, and reverent, inspiring in many ways. I was most moved by the evidence of the strong and supportive community in attendance, the sort of web that is always there but becomes most visible in times of either crisis or celebration.  It struck me as tanglible proof of a life well-lived.

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I spent the weekend in the mountains with the makings of my own web. Friends I've worked with for years. Friends Will went to undergrad with, through whom we met. Orbits that intersect, over and over, and loop back in on themselves as new people get introduced to the fold. Our children are now friends.

This was an annual celebration of community one of our own throws each winter.  Food, drink, snow, merriment, an overflowing house.  The gift of time to crash into each other all over again.

Perhaps it is not a web that connects us, so much as a vascular system.  Tiny capillaries that weave through the membranes between my inside and my outside, carrying in nutrients and oxygen.  Carrying out the waste that builds up when I spend too much time in my car, or in my head.  Bringing me, crashing, into the world.

Reader Comments (8)

as always beautiful post Corinna! x

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertamar

Watched a movie called I Am this weekend with Michael. A documentary about how a near-death encounter awakened the narrator to the fact of our connectedness with each other and nature. Our 'oneness' you might say. I love your analogy of vascular system rather than web. It makes vivid the notion that we ARE all one body (like and with the aspens), and what we do and think matters to the whole.

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

Beautiful post. Life is so rich, so full of wonder, heartbreak, and love. xoxo

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan @ Life Refocused

I love the way you write.

February 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

What an amazing image - the row of white against that deep midnight blue. I, too, love the way you write.

February 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Beautiful shot! Great detail and sharpness.

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveDillon

i wish you would learn how to write

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterst

Perfect

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

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