Battered not broken: reflections from a scooter crash

There is a split-second for your body to prepare for the trauma before the car slams into your left side, and a leisurely ride into work on a sunny day becomes an exhausting and painful day at the hospital. 

Your fight-or-flight instinct is sparked by the adrenaline pumping through your vulnerable shell: your heart pounds; your muscles tense; your awareness is heightened, just as the worst of your situation becomes the prime object of your focus.

The hood of the car is, all at once, a white blur streaking toward you, and also a crystal clear threat to your existence.

As the collision strips from you the handlebars–and with them your ability to control your destination–you hold out your hands to catch yourself from a fall that you won’t be able to avoid. Continue reading “Battered not broken: reflections from a scooter crash”

Why I hesitated becoming a Minivan Dad (it’s not why you think)

Even mentioning my plans to look at minivans earned the kind of under-the-breath-but-actually-directly-at-you reactions you might expect.

“Well, well, well, a minivan, huh?! Going to be a van dad, huh?! Deciding to give up being cool, huh?!” 

Even as jokes, the point seemed to be that entertaining the minivan — no matter the circumstance — constituted some failure on my part.

Let me say one thing from the outset: I place very little value on out-dated definitions of masculinity, strength, coolness, etc.

Any apprehension I had adopting the minivan did not hinge on any arbitrary definition of what constitutes a ‘manly’ or ‘cool’ automobile or not. My personal credo is not inherently linked to any product or campaign. (Gillette or otherwise.)

My real issues with a minivan rested in my realization that I’m entering a very different phase of life, and that my definition of ‘utility vehicle’ must change.

Continue reading “Why I hesitated becoming a Minivan Dad (it’s not why you think)”

Free write: Visiting the Vine

Fruit of the vine

Fruit of the vine
Care and time went into these bundles of goodness

Editor’s note: In memoir class we often reflected on literature or things, and then allowed that to grow into a writing exercise.  I tried to do that here.

Stumbling along Swiss trails, in and out of dense wood and open pasture, neat and cleanly-kept vines seem out-of-place and natural, all at the same time. Plump bundles of a shadowy lavender fruit sit patiently drinking in more sunlight. The tiny treats are supported by leaf-rich vines; each leaf a hue of green, red, or dark purple depending on its phase and position to the sun. Wiry, wild vines seem harsh and drab without these bundles, but time brings forth the bloom. Days in the hot sun, brushing away horse flies and curious pests, can seem torturous and slow when one awaits yet more from the plants’ brittle bones and bundled blossom. Continue reading “Free write: Visiting the Vine”