I am very happy to let you know that I (along with Yonder) am back to life. This is our second incarnation. As you might recall, the last posting from this publication was on July 30th of last year, shortly after my bike accident. As I was still in tons of pain and taking strong painkillers, I asked my wife, Elisabeth Rosenthal, who is a beautiful writer and was with me on that near-fatal day, to write a Yonder post about the accident. It was only after I read her post that I understood that I could have died–randomly, stupidly–on that day. Stupid and random, because I simply hit a small pothole that was hard to see from my vantage point. I flew over the handlebars and lay unconscious on the empty street. I only began to wake up after a big fire truck, police car and ambulance made enough noise to rouse me. I heard my wife’s voice, the only one I recognized.
A few months later, when I was much, much better, Elisabeth wrote another piece about my recovery and the insanity of the American healthcare system. I was proud to be able to contribute (passively)for the cause. Published in the New York Times, the piece made me famous. We received many dinner invitations where my recovery was a prime topic of conversation.
Now that the pain has receded, I am able to look back on this experience. As I am back on the bike and finally back to writing, I regard the accident and recovery as a long but valuable experience.
Physically I was very lucky. After all the injuries I sustained, people could not believe that I recovered so quickly and without any surgery. Perhaps the most awkward part of the first few months was convincing people that I was okay and not some kind of zombie. On the outside, I looked fine.
But the inner recovery was much more complicated.
Rebooting yourself after such a heavy accident is a very precious, reflective process. Recovering your personality after it has been knocked into outer space is as painstaking as evolving awareness and understanding while reading Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, the most difficult book I have ever read. It took me one year to finish the book. It has now been seven months since the accident.