When Bad Leads To Good

I slipped on a curb. I was just walking, from the movie to the car, and I felt a twist in my knee and a pain right behind it and the first thing I thought was "There goes my ski season!"

I’m paranoid that way. I realize it comes from experience. That time I slipped hiking, getting myself in shape, and landed on my butt and endured ongoing pain so excruciating, if there’d been a gun in my house I would have shot myself.

I’ll probably be o.k. Usually you know when you’ve truly hurt yourself, this injury is on the right side of the threshold, but I started to wonder, if I was injured, would the result be better than what I had planned?

I’ve gotten hooked on WTF, Marc Maron’s podcast wherein he interviews comedians. Marc can be close to intolerable, you can hear his uptightness in his introductory monologues, but what the comedians have to say can be life-changing.

Chris Rock told of knowing every comedian’s act. He’d seen them dozens of times, hundreds, waiting to go on. He proceeded to mention everyone from household names to the deceased, like Dennis Wolfberg. Superstars of every profession marinate in it.

Richard Lewis made me feel okay about being negative. You can’t change your identity. I only say yes to greatness, that’s who I am. Should I really be criticized for failing to laud mediocrity? I don’t think so.

And last night I was listening to Larry Miller. Who can be a better actor than comic. But he was wailing on the podcast, and he and Marc started talking about when he got mugged. Larry was just thankful that they didn’t do more damage, that they stopped. All he had was a cut over his eye. The San Francisco Police wanted him to fly up to I.D. some suspects, but Larry said he’d just hug them. Thank them for not breaking his teeth and wrecking his face and helping him gain perspective.


But this got me to thinking. Some of my best times, my greatest triumphs, have come from godawful failures and accidents.

I broke my leg and had to give up my job in Alta, Utah, but if I’d been healthy I would have worked at the Goldminer’s Daughter instead of the BirdFeeder on the Snowbird Plaza, where I met the world’s greatest freestyle skiers and accompanied them to Mammoth Mountain for the best month of my life.

And earlier this year I broke reverse gear on my Saabaru. I was devastated, but if this hadn’t happened I never would have met Daryl, mechanic extraordinaire, who’s got my car running better than it ever has, including when it was hot off the assembly line.

I can find the cloud in any silver lining.

But now I’m starting to think you’ve got to embrace the cloud, it’s the beginning of the good times, a door to greatness. Life works in mysterious ways.

Comments are closed