My Matrix Moment
Friday afternoon the preparations for Prairie Branches Staff Appreciation Event were rolling along smoothly. A group of us were working on putting the selfie station together and realized that none of us were tall enough to attach the decorative ivy vines to the top of the backdrop.
“Trent, do you know if there is a ladder here?”
“No, not that I’ve seen,” was his reply
Now, I know better. I will be the first to admit that I was a supreme dumbass to continue as I did. Not 5 minutes away, a step ladder sat unused while we progressed down a path littered with “Safety Hazard” signs. I am rolling my eyes at myself as I write this, my sore muscles mocking my lack of judgement.
After some discussion we decided that Marilou would hop up onto the chair to attach the ivy to the top of the frame. At this point, at least I hadn’t completely lost my grip on judgement, as she was surrounded on her precarious perch by Malu and I – holding the chair steady while she worked but the reach was just a bit too high and the zip ties a bit too awkward so after several minutes of frustration, we helped Marilou down and I took her place since I was familiar with the zip ties and have a couple of extra inches of height to add to the task.
“Malu, could you give Preethy a hand with the pickles and olives in the kitchen?”
“Will you be ok Ms. Colleen?” she asks, responsible soul that she is.
“Oh, sure,” the duct-tape-farm-girl says getting back up onto the chair sans stabilizing and supporting hands. Up and down I go, moving along nicely. The garland along the top of the frame was complete. Just one more trip up to attach the vines that would drape down the side. Ah, there we go – all done. Safety Dumbass, me miraculously finished and began to step down from the chair for the final time when my foot caught the edge of the chair.
As I said in last week’s blog – one of the things I know for sure is that we are eternal, spiritual beings having a human experience. In that moment, that better, smarter, faster part of me took over. My fall was just like a scene from the Matrix movies – you know the ones, where the action shifts into slow motion and Neo or one of his compatriots flows effortless around flying bullets and obstacles, remaining safe in spite of overwhelming odds.
The moment my foot caught and I lost my balance it was as though I was engulfed in a bubble – everything moving so slowly while my thoughts sped and my body reacted – that split second stretching out to facilitate everything that needed to happen to ensure the best possible outcome. I remember the sensation of suspension, the thought that I couldn’t ‘catch’ myself to prevent the fall, shifting to draw my leg and arm back in against my body – somehow aware that if I reached out to stop the fall, the impact would be damaging to them. My stomach muscles contracted tight and I ‘curled’ slightly. The point of contact was my right butt cheek, my spine just sort of collapsing gently, my right hand smacking the floor, and my head snapping back a bit to just tap the floor. My first thought was that the fall could have/should have resulted in permanent damage – I knew instantly that I was incredibly lucky to be dusting myself off and getting up on my own steam.
“Colleen!” shocked voices from those present called out.
“I’m ok,” I said, “landed on my ass – lots of padding there!”
I was rattled, internally still taking stock: head – check, back – check, arms and legs – check. I’ll be damned, I really was ok. My sore butt was the chastisement that I needed to take the incident seriously and to remind myself not to take stupid risks with safety but the lasting results had been avoided.
Over the past months I have been growing more accustomed to feeling that connection with my greater self and today I am grateful to her that my bruises, aches and pains are all temporary. Our physical brains are powerful filters, letting us live these momentarily mortal lives but sometimes we get little gift-glimpses of the more that we are connected to. We are such adaptable creatures that when these extraordinary moments happen, we shrug, give a little ‘hmm’ and go on – letting go of the magic in the tumultuous current of mundanity. I have started tracking these magic moments in a journal so that on those days that my humanity feels just too heavy, I can open my journal and remember the magic and know with certainty that the magic is what is eternal and the problems of the day are the transient condition that will be left behind.