Balancing a corncob
Joyce Park stashed this in Brain injury
I was cooking corn pudding this weekend, cutting the kernels off several cobs of juicy white corn, when I remembered the day almost three years ago that I last tried to cook this dish. Most people wouldn't think that balancing a corncob on a cutting board would be that much of a challenge -- but back then I was crying because I couldn't do it.
Balance is one of those subtle physical gifts that you don't appreciate until it leaves you. It doesn't occur to you how many different subsystems have to work perfectly in synch for you to rise up slightly on your toes, left fingers making a fulcrum of the corncob at an angle so you can come in with the right for a decisive slice all the way down before turning the vegetable slightly on its axis. You're like a ballerina undoing a series of zippers with a knife.
When I last tried to perform this task, it slammed me headfirst into the possibility that I wouldn't come ALL the way back from my aneurysm. This was probably the first time I had really thought about it that way. Having always enjoyed rude perfect health before -- and in the euphoria of finding myself alive and basically unharmed -- it didn't cross my mind that my future might involve an endless series of unpleasant "huh I guess things aren't quite the same" moments.
I can cut the kernels off an ear of corn now... but I'm grateful to have learned what a small miracle that is. I'm trying not to take it for granted.