X163: Axel

Misstep is metaphorically a mistake, wrong choice or blunder. A misstep is sometime a kind way of saying FUBAR, fucked up beyond all reason. But it pays to remember that a misstep can also be a mistaken step, literally where you put your foot down. Axel is my nephew and he made a tragic misstep this week. He stepped into a saw blade and nearly lost his right foot. I can’t think about that or even type those words without a body shudder at the horror of such damage and pain.

Ever since I learned he was in the hospital I have been thinking about him. Last night I joined my neighbors for a Solstice gathering under the trees and the gibbous moon. I’d sent an image of this full solstice moon to Axel’s mom, my BFF, to let her know I would be sending healing magik through the moon. That was hyperbole because I no longer practice solitary Wicca or Christianity or any other formalized spiritual path. I do feel the power of my thoughts and intentions and direct these as best I can. And I try to be open to the world around me.

Axel was born 19 years ago in the spring, just 6 weeks before my daughter died. Angela and I went shopping in New York for a present and she picked out some tiny little Converse™ sneakers. She loved Converse™ (shoes in general) and a new pair had been a prized possession 5 years before - our first year in New York. So, we cracked up over the tiny little shoes. And although we have lived in different states for most of our lives, my friend has always kept me in the family circle by sending me photos and news of Axel. He lost his mother when he was a toddler and was adopted by his grandmother, my friend. Along with her husband, Axel’s dad, caring friends and a scattering of other family, I have been in Axel’s life. I am known as Uncle Kate. (That’s a story from his father’s youth – when he accidentally called me that and it cracked us up so much it stuck.)

Most of all I want to envision Axel as strong and healing. He turned 19 this spring. He has changed a great deal from this graduation photo below. As I am typing I keep stumbling into phrases and expressions that involve the foot. I have rejected these. For example, since graduation Axel has been trying to get his footing, stand on his own two feet . . . aaargh! There are dozens of these:

best foot forward

hold your feet to the fire

drag one's feet

dead on one's feet

drag one’s feet/heels

one's feet are on the ground

find one's feet

from head to toe

a load off one's feet

get or have cold feet

get one’s feet wet

get up

have feet of clay

have one’s feet on the ground

(be practical or sensible)

keep one's feet on the ground

(remain firmly established)

knock (someone) off their feet

land on one’s feet/both feet

let grass grow under one’s feet

on one's feet

on tiptoe

play footsie with (someone)

regain one's feet

stand on one’s own two feet

throw oneself at (someone's) feet

bound hand and foot

balls of one's feet

dead on one's feet

drag one’s feet/heels

feet of clay

find one's feet

have one's feet (planted firmly) on the ground

have two left feet

knock (someone) off their feet

land on one's feet

let the grass grow under one’s feet

light on one's feet

Words fail me. Even the innocent words feel hurtful. The human body communicates life information for us I guess. I remember when I was on a spiritual path I was awed by language in this way. I suspect primitive peoples and those who didn’t know each other’s language used the body to communicate.

Late last night I read the update on Axel’s health from my friend. She wrote,

Absolutely fabulous photo!! Thanks for your healing thoughts! Axel's surgery on Thursday to repair tendon and place plate went well. Wound looks clean. Next week another surgery to repair the nerve and possible bone graft in a few months. He might come home on Saturday.
My first response reading that was anger that he would be released so soon, but these days it is best to get out of the hospital with staph now as dangerous as any disease or injury. My friend said that he was in a newly built hospital and that made her feel it was safer as far as staph infections. He is luckily still insured under their health insurance policy. I don’t even want to contemplate what this accident would have meant otherwise.

This is a babbling mess (and I am blubbing). I have been trying to formulate my thoughts for some hours and nothing will coalesce around this wretched accident for this beautiful boy, Axel. I guess I will just hold him in my heart and my thoughts.

Moon image found here.

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