Show me my Silver Lining

Lemonade from lemons. In theory, motivating. In theory, inspiring. In theory, possible. When life serves you lemons, make lemonade. Make something good out of the bad. Right? In theory. Call me a sour puss, but sometimes the lemons just sit there. All cheerful and happy in their sunny yellow-ness all the while mocking you. Pucker up sucker. Do you know what I mean? Turning around the hand you’ve been dealt takes moxy. It takes effort. Bluffing works. Sometimes. Sometimes it is easier said than done, making that god damn hypothetical lemonade.

Recently, I broke my ankle.* My lemons. Served up on a silver platter. Or silver screws and a tiny little metal plate perhaps? Silver screws that, mind you, had to be taken out and re-screwed, as the first application to align bones and ligaments proved unsuccessful. They were generous enough to add that shiny new metal plate to stabilize the new screws that were positioned in NEW holes in my same growing older bones. To be honest, I don’t actually know if the wee screws and plate in my ankle are silver come to think of it, but that’s what I saw in my head until this exact very moment right now. But my proverbial lemons, they had become.

Allotted these lemons and released (again) from the extremely gentle care proffered by the nurses at Bispebjerg Hospital, I had visions of a burgeoning personal creative space engendered by my newly afforded, if forced lack of mobility. I would use this time that I was not allowed to bear weight on my broken ankle – writing and reading and editing and nesting. There would be an output the likes you (or I for that matter) had ever seen (from me anyway.) Yes. I would make my allegorical lemonade. I would.

Frozen jordbær double as ice pack in a pinch
Frozen jordbær double as ice pack in a pinch

Or not. First week post-op provided little opportunity for much beyond basic self-preservation. Sleep. Eat. Moan. Understandable you might say. Second week out and where are we? Still VERY uncomfortable, nerve pain and burning sensations that wake me at night, but starting… STARTING to squeeze a little life back into my day. And maybe not in the creative fashion I had envisioned. Clearly my creative output has not been with the prolific writing I was hoping for, this being my first post, post-op. Wings clipped watching Danish clouds float past the window of my 5th floor perch, while potentially dreamy and beautiful, does not afford freedom of movement, nor motivation. For me at least. I can admit that bemoaning the fact that any excursion from the perch requires exiting down those many flights of stairs (knowing that what goes down, must come back up eventually) has made me question our choice in Copenhagen residences recently. Would this be easier to deal with if we lived elsewhere? I don’t know. I don’t think it is easy. Period.

Creativity has not been necessarily photographic either. I enviously watch images filled with cherry blossom goodness flutter through my Instagram Feed. It’s #SakuraWeekCPH. Go check it out. It was beautiful. From what I could glean online from the comfort of my flat anyway. The absolute irony here laying in the fact that all those pretty pink pics were taken only 700 meters (less than a 1/2 mile) from the hospital bed I spent so many nights awaiting and then recovering from surgeries #1 AND #2. Next year. I will go. Next year. But photo walks and their imagery get a little redundant when your radius from flat is a mere three to four blocks at this point. Copenhagen city blocks, but still. Believe me I’ve desired and even once attempted to grab that potentially perfect pic while crutching along. But stopping (which I do often on my self-prescribed once a day walkabout), letting go of crutches to hold camera, balancing on said crutches (not the under armpit kind) is precarious and worrisome to both myself and passersby. Who am I kidding – any time I’m out carefully cobblestone-hobbling I’m worrisome to most passersby in my new Danish neighborhood. I wonder, as they bicycle past with their two able legs shooting me pitiful glances, if I could get myself into one of the holds fronting those large cargo bikes. Some of them definitely copious enough to accommodate me, boot and all. That would surely afford free hands and some good chances to work on my panning shots rolling along unfettered by crutches. But we don’t have a cargo bike. And I don’t know those stylish Danes cycling past, in outfits that are changing ever so slightly from the dark monotone winter wardrobe to flashes of pastels or ecrus or dare I say florals? But if I did know them and could get in their cargo carrier, could I ever get back out!

But get out I do. Out of the apartment at least. Once a day. It’s a must. For my psyche. Along with music. Therapeutic and necessary. For me. Apropos then, that what is currently in my Spotify loop is the Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit. Look them up immediately and put them right on wherever you listen. Beautiful and lovely. Requiring some salving lately, this soul has benefitted from their melodic medicinal harmonies. One of my favorite songs is called “Silver Lining.” Listen here and read along with the lyrics below…

“My Silver Lining”

I don’t want to wait anymore I’m tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter
I don’t know if I’m scared of dying but I’m scared of living too fast, too slow
Regret, remorse, hold on, oh no I’ve got to go
There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on
Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road
Can’t worry ’bout what’s behind you or what’s coming for you further up the road
I try not to hold on to what is gone, I try to do right what is wrong
I try to keep on keeping on
Yeah I just keep on keeping on

I hear a voice calling
Calling out for me
These shackles I’ve made in an attempt to be free
Be it for reason, be it for love
I won’t take the easy road

I’ve woken up in a hotel room, my worries as big as the moon
Having no idea who or what or where I am
Something good comes with the bad
A song’s never just sad
There’s hope, there’s a silver lining
Show me my silver lining
Show me my silver lining

I hear a voice calling
Calling out for me
These shackles I’ve made in an attempt to be free
Be it for reason, be it for love
I won’t take the easy road

I won’t take the easy road
The easy road, the easy road

Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on
Show me my silver lining, I try to keep on keeping on

Like sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg lyrically and so gracefully sing, I have definitely not taken the easy road on this expatriation to Denmark. Maybe it wouldn’t have been easy anywhere. Maybe Denmark is only my where, not my how. We were not given a manual. There was no best practices sheet. No one told us what to do. We have figured most of it out on our own. Did we do it all the right way? Is there a right way? Would this be the same anywhere? I don’t know. Did I choose to break my ankle? Absolutely not. Who would? Is it affecting my time here? Yes. And here comes the but. I do believe that we have to and we will … keep on, keeping on. (Thanks First Aid Kit.) Show me my silver lining. Something good comes from the bad. Help me make my lemonade. My creativity, maybe paltry in presentable projects, has been evoked in other iterations. This is clear. Cultivating relationships has had to get more creative. No longer able to passively accumulate the miniscule tidal evolutions that time on a playground or pickup chats offer. I physically can’t get there. I can’t hang out after school. I CAN though, get to a coffee shop. Nearby. I can make it to the new bageri a few blocks away. My neighborhood has those. Good ones too. Where I can enjoy delicious coffee, organic baked goods, a cold beer, a great burger, its all right here. Where I can sit and enjoy outside even and soak up the spring sun. Will you come join me? You will? Fantastic. Motivation to make it down (and worth the effort to get back up.) Salve for my soul. “Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter.” Thank you friend for the lemonade and the laughter. It was delicious!

If in Copenhagen – if you haven’t already you have to try these delicious places – some of my new faves (in neighborhood and out.)

*broke my ankle = dislocated and tore ligaments at the same time spirally fracturing my fibula requiring two separate surgeries to align and screw and plate me back together … broke.

8 thoughts on “Show me my Silver Lining

  1. Hej, I’m so sorry I didn’t realise before, life has been a bit hectic, just catching up on your blog. Love your writing! I certainly think you are making Lemonade with your lemons….just keep going. Next time I’m in Copenhagen on my own (without my clan), I’ll be sure to send you a message…perhaps we can meet at one of your favourite spots. P.S. First Aid Kit has a new fan. 😉

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  3. alex21

    Has your ankle tottaly healed?I was in a cast.I broke my wrist and thumb playing soccer.I had my third cast removed 5 months ago.Hope you feel better and you dont have any pain.Best wishes and take care.

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