Hello again! I owe you an apology for the break. I am now back home in Indianapolis, after touching ground in Durham and Seattle and a not-so-fancy rest stop in between. I could offer a string of convincing excuses for not posting for so long that ranges from car trouble to family trips. I could regale you with a tale of a hellacious hotel whose most luxurious amenities include a can of Lysol and a charred iron mark in the carpet, but that is a story for another post. Instead, I owe this post to more grievous abstraction: the year mark of my injury.

In a world where perfection is largely a myth, a world of almosts, it is the rare event that draws a clean line between white and black. But that is exactly what July 17th, 2011, did for me. In the time it takes to dive, an action I had done just a week before off a two-story cliff in Hawaii, my body failed me. I was stopping, falling and exploding. Resisting. Screaming and fighting. Burning. Twisting and torquing. And most of all demanding of the air why a capsule of very solid water would not release me from its numbing grip. On and on the maelstrom went, the ambulance yielding hospital rooms yielding rehab gyms in a progressive kind of hell.

Sometimes I think of nothing but returning to my old life, with its meticulous architecture and order and absolutely no catastrophic injury. I want to stand up and turn around, sharply, and face the wrinkled blackness of the past year. If given such a magical circumstance, I would grit my teeth and steel my brow with grim purpose – as if by force of will I could melt the black away. In my dreams I stare up with green eyes at the unformed mountains of what I could have achieved this past year had I gone to Duke as planned.

But, of course, these lines of thought are unhealthy. Reality wheels forward. Some days it’s easier to look on toward the mountains in my future. Some days it’s not. Whenever a dark spot surfaces, I always remember the love and support of those around me and I realize how lucky I am. Call it my anniversary present. Or a display for myself and others of the triumph that can come from tragedy. No matter in how many dark dreams I find myself, that is always a feeling that gives me hope when I wake up.