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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Hardy Hap’

If you have lived in a northern climate for any length of time, the chances are good that you have slipped and fallen on an icy sidewalk. Or that you will, no matter how careful you are.

Such was the case a few weeks back, as I was walking down the sidewalk in Alfred, New York, wearing shoes more suitable to spring than winter. Coming upon a puddle in the middle of the sidewalk, I stepped onto a mound of ice to avoid the water. Down I went, face forward, landing on my knee.

Thanks, I suspect, to my daily practice of T’ai Chi, I was back on my feet a moment later, suffering no worse injury than a scraped knee. But as the day wore on, and as I felt the lasting effects of my fall, I considered what to call it. Was it a mishap—something, as they used to say in Ireland, that could happen to a bishop? Or was it an avoidable mistake? Although those two small words share a common prefix, their meanings differ widely, as do their implications. (more…)

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