January 27, 2013 by rebelwithalabelmaker
So, at school we are being asked to focus on the theme of boundary crossing. I have taken liberties with my interpretation of the concept.
Me: It clearly means that everyone should try flying trapeze. There’s a school right near here, and it would totally be great for our ministerial formation.
The Other Ministerial Students: Isn’t that dangerous?
Me: No. Club Med did a study of all its sports, and trapeze had the lowest injury rate out of all of them except Scuba Diving.
The Other Ministerial Students: Wow. What were the other sports?
Me: Not sure of all of them, but ping pong and golf were definitely included. Flying trapeze is completely safe. And totally necessary for your spiritual development.
The Other Ministerial Students: You are a bit evangelical for a Unitarian, don’t you think?
You will remember that I took a fellow seminarian named Mick flying trapezeing in the Spring of 2011. I’m pretty sure he loved it. He did a lot of yelling that was definitely joyful in tone. Or loud. He either yelled “Flying-luck” or “Free-and-unstuck” or “Falling! Duck”. It was hard to tell which because he slurred it all together to form one syllable, which I will not repeat here because this is a G-rated blog.
Anyway, this time, FOUR awesome and dedicated fellow Meadvillians came trapezing … which was fabulous. And one injured her shoulder and the other screwed up her arms, and Mick kind of fell on his face but only literally, not metaphorically at all. (In defence of trapeze, these injuries occurred over the course of a whole week, not all in one night. The point being that clearly trapeze is fabulous because we kept going back all week).
Mick’s injury was definitely the most significant. He didn’t know he’d hurt himself, and bounded up, declaring “oops” and proceeded to clamber blithely out of the net, unaware that blood was pouring down his face.
At this point, I started rummaging through my purse, and the trapeze lady said “It’s okay, we have stuff for this” and I said “Oh good, because the flash on my iPhone isn’t very good” and then I realized she was talking about a first aid kit.
I believe we have already established that I am not good in a minor emergency.
Mick: Are you taking pictures?
Me: Trust me, you will want these later. I have failed to properly document many of my own trapeze injuries, and regretted it greatly.
Mick: I feel stupid. I was doing so well.
Me: Whatever. You are now in possession of Best. Story. Ever. I have trapezed way longer than you and never gotten to land on my face.
I am not so good with the medical supplies, but I am great with the finding silver linings.
Mick: How bad is it?
Me: Your nose looks broken.
He thought I meant the bones in his nose, which were fine. But the rest of it was definitely broken.
Me: You need stitches.
Mick: I HAVE TO CATCH A TRAIN RIGHT AWAY!
Me: Well, then you’re going to have a big scar on your face.
Me (suddenly remembering all my Ministerially Supportive Pastoral Care Training now that I had lots of good pictures): How are you feeling?
Mick: (kind of surprised) I’m not in pain. And it didn’t hurt when I fell.
Me (promptly forgetting my Ministerially Supportive Pastoral Care Training): I know. That’s the adrenaline, and then when you tell the story you can be all “but it didn’t even hurt” and everyone will be all “oh wow, you’re so brave”.
Mick: I am never telling anyone this story.
Me: Oh. Okay.
Mick: This is NOT going on your blog.
Me: Of course not.
Me: How about in a paper about the pedagogy of discernment of a theology of vulnerability in border crossings?
I probably am not going to be the Worst Minister Ever, though, because good Ministry is about knowing what people need in a given moment. And, before the blood had actually stopped flowing, Mick was posting the pictures I’d so thoughtfully taken of him to Facebook. Which practically makes me a great minister already. Then we quickly bandaged him up, I put him on the train, and he texted me within 13 minutes, with the message “how come you haven’t written anything on the blog yet?”.
Then he texted me demanding that I stop posting on Facebook that I beat him up.
For the record, Mick is fine. He was fine from the moment we walked down the street and some guy said “What happened to you?” and he said “Flying trapeze” and the guy said “What’s that?” and I described it and the guy looked at Mick with deep admiration and said “WICKED”.
Me: You know what they say. Pain is temporary, and Pride is forever.
I’m pretty sure that the “they” who doing the talking are not the same as the “they” who are doing the bleeding.
I am always amazed by how there are two parts to any injury –– literal or metaphorical. There’s the injury itself, and then there’s story we tell around it.
Me: It’s all in how you view it. You can say “I screwed up” or “I’m hurt” or you can view yourself as a hero. (I figured this speech would work because it totally worked on Anthony).
Mick (pointing at his face): Um, Hero? Don’t you think that’s a bit much?
Me: Could be worse.
(Pause, in which Mick gives me The Face. And then I snap a picture of it).
Mick: Could be worse?
Me: You could look like that from playing ping pong.
If you’re going to fall on your face, you may as well have been flying when you did it.