It was all I could think of and it kept me from being strong: a broken radius, that is to say, wrist, the result of a fall in my sister’s urban-fairy-land front yard in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis last October. My 10-year-old great-niece, Harper, across the little sidewalk frequented by squirrels, had tossed me a beach ball that went over my head, its cartoon dog twirling toward me. As I reached for it, I went backward and apparently tripped on an exposed root and then tried to break my fall by smashing my hand against the trunk of that same majestic maple tree.
About three weeks later I had surgery that involved installing a titanium plate to hold the bone together and eventually—just last week—another surgery to remove the plate (which was “migrating” toward unsuspecting tendons). My hand is still bandaged as I type this, and I probably have more physical therapy ahead with the wonderful folks at Hand Therapy NYC; I’ve spent many peaceful moments at one of their little white tables with my hand under a heating pad (in preparation for exercises), pondering a plaque that says “Do what you love / Love what you do.”
That would be singing and writing songs. And so, since my broken bone had stolen the attention of my mind, a melody attached itself to that idea and I wrote the song in the video below, which was performed with the two fabulous human beings and musicians I’ve been working with for a couple of years now, Joan Chew and Graig Janssen. We shot the video in my studio apartment so I could submit it to NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest, whose winner was recently announced. You may want to check out his video—right after mine!