Pain management? Don’t make me laugh.
Last week, after participating in Prayers for World Peace at the Kadampa Meditation Center ( www.kadampanewyork.org ), I was approached by one of the nuns for a favor. Knowing that I drive a pickup, she asked if I could spare some time and help the Temple out with a dump-run, since they had a lot of refuse to dispose of responsibly.
Wanting to help, I ignored that little voice in my head that insisted on reminding me of the weird English idiom: “No good deed goes unpunished” ( www.usingenglish.com ). Casting superstition to the wind, off I went, with a truckload of large items, including an old broken desk that, when push came to shove, somehow backfired on me, and made a crash landing on my left side that left me slightly broken (delicate flower that I am) and suffering a fractured rib.
Unwilling to accept that the voice in my head (can you say Sybil?) created the reality, I pushed on. Taped up and wincing (Attorneys at Law) I put the truck in gear and attempted to move through it. I had been looking forward to seeing Forestburgh Playhouse’s ( www.fbplayhouse.org ) perennial favorite Loretta Swit perform her one-woman tour de force, “Shirley Valentine,” based on the book by Willy Russell.
Swit’s performance was (IMHO) really, really good. I was thrilled to find myself so immersed in the piece that the image of Swit portraying Margaret Houlihan for 11 years on the TV’s smash hit M*A*S*H was never even a part of the equation. A great blend of comedy and pathos, it made me laugh—and I also felt the character’s pain, literally.
Not wanting to tempt fate, I passed on an invitation to join friends at Friends (in Smallwood, NY) for a “rib-eye special” and drove off screaming as I changed gears, to hear local author Tom Kane read excerpts from his new book, “Bad Church, Good Church” at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (www.artsalliance
site.org) in Narrowsburg, NY. Kane, a former Catholic priest, speaks from the heart about his history with organized religion, his personal crisis of faith and the path that ultimately led him to leave the church and create this book, which is “the story of his journey towards spiritual enlightenment.”
Again I winced, as Kane read a few passages in which humor mixed with sadness. Then I steered home (crying a little) and passed Bubba’s ( www.putalittlesouthinyourmouth.com ) on White Lake, averting my eyes from the many flags waving at me suggesting I drop in for their “world-famous baby-back ribs.”
Avoiding the inevitable pain medication became impossible, so I took the bitter pill and passed out, wanting to be well rested for a day trip to Honesdale, PA for the annual Roots & Rhythm Music Festival ( www.honesdalerootsandrhythm.com ).
Hundreds of people turned out for the event, which took over the town with vendors, kids’ activities and, on every corner surrounding Central Park’s Main Stage, music, music, music. The festival included performances by a slew of talent, including singer/songwriter Carrie Rodriguez, Seth Walker and Ryan Hartt & the Bluehearts, all of whom paved the way for the headliner, R&B legend Dave Alvin. Alvin sums up his view of the music world with these words: “To put it simply, there are two types of folk music. There’s quiet and there’s loud. I like to play both.”
It became apparent that I had “stayed too long at the fair” as I made my second sweep of the many food booths, pausing to reflect on the irony of being drawn to the short ribs calling my name (again, literally) by Sloatsburg’s “Hog Heaven” Bar-B-Que on wheels. I hobbled away as quickly as my broken body would allow and paused outside of Hones-
dale’s newest, almost-ready-to-open eatery, The Cottage Cafe, momentarily enjoying the cool air and even cooler tunes being performed by the Erin McClelland Band (www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-McClelland).
Ripping off the ace bandage gave me instant relief, followed by the realization that another pill was waiting for me at home, so I switched gears yet again and set off for home, carefully avoiding the “rib-tickling” good time promised by both of the clowns that I shuffled past in the “Tunes and Tales” tent at the festival. Synchronicity being what it is, I arrived at home just in time to catch Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn staring back at me after surfing the channels for only a minute or two. Giving in, I drifted off to sleep while watching the 1949 classic (Scout’s honor) “Adam’s Rib.” Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up.