What a peculiar day!

It isn’t often I am professionally advised not to take a shower and to avoid driving an automobile or riding a bicycle. Yet such were the prescriptions germane today, the first day following my left knee replacement surgery. As luck would have it these obstructive recommendations are acknowledged by an inexpressibly lovely day, a cloudless azure sky with a visibility of 28 km. There is a dry wind from the north at 14 km/h. The temperature is about 44°F. And if it matters the 10-day forecast is sunshine and 86°F. I took the opportunity to lounge in the sun for a half-hour on the balcony deck.

So here I am: all dressed up (or down) and nowhere to go!  Being thus inhibited is a rarefied pleasure and one to which I willingly submit notwithstanding the limitations.

I am bound to accede the pleasing narcotic effect of the analgesic prescribed by my surgeon. Getting out of bed this morning was the first time in months that I have cheerfully welcomed the mundane routine and relished being mobile howsoever casually. Repeatedly during my preparation yesterday for surgery I heard the exhortation of the medical advisers to ensure I took my pain killers regularly as prescribed (every three hours, day and night).

There’s a reason these narcotics are addictive. I am meanwhile doing what little I can to improve my natural recovery by exercising as suggested, while lying on the bed or sitting at my desk or walking about the apartment. The activity and improvement are almost imperceptible but nonetheless relieving (both psychologically and physically).

An unanticipated boost stemmed from an email sent to me this morning by BIll Barrie Jr of Almonte BIcycle Works. I had asked Bill Jr’s assistance in getting a new tricycle.  He has recommended the Evo Latitude Adult Trike.


I no longer feel safe riding a bicycle. It only takes a moment to lose one’s balance whether pedaling or awaiting a light change at an intersection. In recent days (as I have reacquainted myself with a bicycle) I have come precipitously close to falling. I prefer the stationary capability of a tricycle. The tertiary accommodation affords the primary advantage of exercise, a long-standing purgative enterprise of mine. To be specific my engrossment with bicycles goes back to my first year of law school (1968). It had nothing to do with the study of law; rather it marked the occasion I met my sister’s undergraduate boyfriend who introduced me to the Garlatti racing bicycle which at the time was considered one of the finest brands. I got a lot of use of that bicycle along the Ottawa River Parkway and into the Gatineaux Hills, including the first of what would be a number of fairly serious crashes (the last of which in 2018 was about a month in hospital at Daytona Beach Shores when I broke my ribs, punctured my lungs and concussed my right eye).

Normally the physical profitability of exercise has subsequently been rewarded by a toodle in my vehicle about the county backroads. It is ironic that my two favourite modes of transportation are the bicycle/tricycle and the automobile (and for the moment at least I avoid the allure of an electric bike or trike). During this current grounding so to speak, my attention has been preserved from my desk upon the shore of the nearby river or from my bed upon the ceiling. The outlook upon the river is nonpareil and highly tolerable; the view of the bedroom ceiling constitutes an unusual but relaxing interlude. The decision to get the tricycle contrasts with the recent failure of the Ford Motor Co to deliver a Lincoln Corsair Hybrid I had ordered last fall. While the dealer (Lincoln Heights) had offered a number of replacement alternatives, I am reluctant to switch merely to preserve a retail performance. It does however appease my unfettered consumptive interest to contemplate a new tricycle (an appetite which by no coincidence I have aligned with carrot cake and Key Lime pie).

In fact much of what has transpired in the past 24 hours since my knee surgery relates to matters material. Though I am certain it sounds humorous of me to say so, one of the first matters I undertook yesterday upon returning home from the hospital was to regain my gold jewellery. In accordance with the pre-op instructions I had removed all jewellery before the operation. I had forgotten how mindful I am of the stuff. It has its own narcotic effect (one which I dignify as artistic and for that reason defensible).

The noticeable narrowness of this focus is illustrative of the overall declension of materiality, the notion that the physical properties of an artifact have consequences. The surrounding motivation is encouraged by the act of downsizing. Progressively I have distanced myself from a myriad of objects; at the same time I have heightened the significance of others. It is the product of aging and associated amendments. The quotient is the new formula for satisfaction. It is an undeniable collateral of this calculated process of limitation that many things have simply lost their appeal. Viewed as simplification rather than as deterioration or evaporation, the  modified approach to things is purifying. Certainly there are fewer things to contemplate. But what remains has a strengthened import.