So, this is one of those most embarrassing moments posts. Except nobody would know a thing about it except I’m posting it. Which makes me a little bit crazy, because I HATE to be embarrassed. I’m the invisible woman. Really, when I attend an event, my goal–my whole entire goal–is to enter and exit without a soul knowing I was there. Shameful but true. Not looking to be the life of any party.
That’s neither here nor there, though. This is all about a skewer.
Right now, I teach a pottery class at my house on Tuesday evenings. This week the students were going to glaze, so I rearranged the room a bit, moving jars of tools to the glazing shelves and the brushes and glaze samples to the table. The students came, and we started to glaze.
At this point I realized I needed to grab a jar of glaze from the bottom shelf. I leaned down, forgetting I’d put a jar of tools on the top shelf, forgetting the jar had a very long wooden skewer sticking out into the room, point out. I forgot until the dumb thing was lodged in my head.
Yes, I’d leaned over, and the skewer sort of skewered me. I jerked upright, which knocked over the entire jar, and I grabbed the wood, which was rather stuck in my head, and pulled it out. It had hit me in the temple, up in my hairline, and I decided to pretend this had never happened.
So, for the next few minutes I nonchalantly pressed my fingers against my head, which was bleeding quite nicely, and I helped people glaze. At some point I felt a little queasy, not because this was a huge injury–it really wasn’t–but because I realized I had STABBED myself with a SKEWER and that’s just…disconcerting.
Eventually pottery class was over; the students went home; and I applauded myself for keeping the whole skewer thing to myself, because really, who wants to take a class from a teacher who stabs herself in the head with her tools?
Needless to say, by this time my head hurt. Every time I leaned forward I felt my pulse at the wound, but I also kept bursting into near-hysterical laughter, because who does these things? One of my sons asked what was wrong, and honestly I couldn’t tell him with a straight face. I had to go to bed early so I could lie back, but that didn’t really help, either. Sort of a ridiculous night.
The question is really what would have happened if I’d admitted I was bleeding and excused myself for a moment to mop blood off my head and maybe take an ibuprofen after I hurt myself? Why was I so afraid to be human? It’s okay not to be the invisible woman, and being a little bit embarrassed isn’t really the end of the world. I’m pretty sure the students wouldn’t have packed up and gone home that minute. And even if they’d laughed–they’d probably have waited until after I finished bleeding to be polite–it wouldn’t have killed me.
This summer I’m taking a few risks. Risks with my writing. Risks with my art. And I know I need a slightly thicker skin if I’m going to succeed. (Ouch, the painful but unintended pun.) The ability to laugh at myself will be vital. So, this is my first step in that direction. I’m human. I’ll flub things sometimes. It won’t be the end of me.
As long as I am careful not to skewer myself in the head again, I think I’ll be just fine.