Writers Write

Sea Legs

I didn’t eat this morning. Instead, I got up on a ladder and felt the world drop out from under me. My balance is not what it used to be–not even close. Once, I was the girl standing at the top of the ladder, fearlesssly holding on with my calves digging into the risers, a bucket of paint in one hand a brush in the other. Like the speaker in Robert Frost’s “After Apple Picking”

My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.

No more. I am wobbly. The world spins in a motion I can’t predict or identify. Once I’m steady, it does a change up. Like an NBA guard cutting around his opponent then switching directions. It fakes me out and scores over my head. ┬áSo, I come down from the ladder and sit.

I like to think I have a sort of inner stability that comes with maturity–an emotional balance–a sense of the digital replacing the analog that once allowed me to stand at the edge of a precipice without diving over. Maybe I had to lose one to gain the other?