Saturday, May 3, 2008

Left Of Center

I’d always known that I was left handed. I write with my right hand. I throw a ball with my right hand. I swing a bat right handed. I eat, and brush my teeth with my right hand. I comb my hair with my right hand. I peel potatoes, hammer a nail, saw a board and play guitar with my right hand. Everything I do, I do right handed. And yes, I drive on the right side of the road. I kick with my right foot. But I used to surf with my right (wrong) foot forward. Surfers call that ‘goofy-footed’. Other than my basic intuition, the goofy- foot thing is how I know I’m really left handed. Oh, and the left side of my body is stronger and more fully developed than the right. Always has been.

Many years ago I decided I needed to return to my roots, my true nature, my natural left handedness. To get back into alignment with my original blueprint. I’d decided that my parents took a left handed child and, for convenience sake, turned him against his better nature. Since, as we’re inclined to do, I’d been blaming them for everything else, I might as well assign them blame for this too. After all, it’s well deserved. I reasoned with myself, quite convincingly, that if I had been allowed to be left handed, rather than converted to a righty, like some kind of religious conversion, I might have gotten through life with just minimal conflict. And with that in mind I began the process of becoming left handed.

I woke up one morning and began to write with my left hand. I started shaving with my left hand. I brushed my teeth with my left hand. I combed my hair with my left hand. I ate left handed, I peeled potatoes, hammered nails, sawed boards, and tried to play guitar with my left hand. I kicked the tires on my car with my left foot.
Everything I did, I did left handed, or left-sided as it were. I was not so successful with the guitar. And I did not drive on the left side of the road. But everything else began to feel natural. I was experiencing a new equilibrium, almost a ‘rebirthing’ of sorts.

I remember writing my mom a letter. Just a casual ‘life-update’ kind of letter. Because by now it was becoming natural, it never occurred to me to mention that I’d written it with my left hand. And obviously, my writing was now considerably different than it had been. The formation of the letters was different, and the slant was different. Evidently it scared her pretty badly. She called, worried, afraid that I’d had a stroke, or started taking some kind of dangerous medication. She called my friends to see if I was alright. She was being a mother. That’s what mothers tend to do. She knew I had good penmanship, and could not reconcile my current writing with the letters she’d received from me in the past. As I look back on the circumstances I can see that it would have given her cause for some significant concern. At the time I was oblivious to that reality. I explained to my mom that I was just trying to develop my ambidexterity.

I kept on with the left handedness for awhile, but then, as so often seemed to happen, reality rode back in on a big horse and scooped me up unexpectedly in mid stride.
I held on tightly.

With my right hand.