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Cutting Deep
by Barbara Crafton


I had just sliced deep into my left index finger with a French chef's knife. Blood welled up in the cut immediately. I take a flotilla of blood-thinning pills, so it takes me a long time to stop bleeding.

And I had timed everything so well! I would write the eMo, feed the cat and give him his pill, dress, make split pea soup for dinner, and still get to my 8 a.m. mass. I was just slicing the onions for the soup. And now I was bleeding into my onions.

Band-Aid. Pressure. Styptic pencil. Damn. Who has time?

You need to allow time for things to go awry. But it is in the nature of things going awry that you don't know just when they will do so. You need a margin of time around all your important tasks, a hedge around them. For when things go awry.

"That's a nice clean cut you've got there," Q says when I change my Band-Aid. Yeah. The knife was nice and sharp. But I see that the cut is rather deep, deeper than I thought. And that the edges aren't meeting. I should have gone and gotten some stitches. But I had that 8 a.m. service, and the soup. So I'll have a bigger scar, and can never be a hand model if this priest thing doesn't work out.

Maybe my scar can function like a string around my finger. I can look at it and remember that bad things happen when you rush. I can look at it and take a deep breath. Slow down. Maybe throw something overboard, if I see I'm running out of time. Regroup.

Learn-- yet again -- that there's a difference between the merely urgent and the truly important. Yet again.

Copyright © 2003 Barbara Crafton

From The Almost-Daily eMo from the Geranium Farm, e-mail messages sent by Episcopal priest and writer Barbara Crafton. Crafton's eMo's are published in book form by Church Publishing. Visit her Web site at http://www.geraniumfarm.org

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