“Don’t start defying broken glass” (by: Melissa Grau)

I’ve been dealing with shards of glass. Metaphorically, yes, this story is sharp and I

could tell immediately, it was cutting. Hard to handle.

But at this moment I’m concerned with the literal; this morning my bathroom shelf
crashed down and a glass candle shattered on my shoulder. At the time, I was
rushing to answer a phone call from Dr. Roberts to follow up on our interview. I
didn’t realize until later that specs of glass attached to my clothing are still cutting
into me.

It’s the day before my deadline, and it is physically painful.

Not to say reporting is ever easy, but so far, I have been extremely lucky. It seems
everyone wants to talk about health care. Originally, I created a potential source
list that included 20 names of Wisconsin-affiliated health care, insurance and policy
experts, fully expecting to be ignored. I cast my net wide, from student health
insurance plan specialists, to social workers, to committee members and prominent
doctors and professors.

Everyone I contacted, contacted me back. A journalist’s dream scenario.

And a student’s nightmare. I have other classes. And another job. And while
opportunity, when absent, is a desperate fog of awful, opportunity dangling in front
of you is an anxiety attack. I could tell this story was big, even bigger than the $40
parking ticket I got while conducting interview with Dr. Reiselbach. I’ve also had
enough coffee to be aware of my strong persuasions on this issue, and I don’t want
my big opinions to cloud my reporting judgment. Of course, I also want this story to
be noticed. Affect people. You know, typical reporter stuff.

I guess minor shoulder lacerations should be the least of my worries.

Instead, I should focus solely on health care reform and health insurance policies.
They are gross. They are a monster mess. Sorting it all out is like trying to locate
these small pieces of glass and pick them off my shirt. Almost impossible for
someone with short fingernails.

However, the chance to alleviate the pain, to sort out this monster mess for a topic
truly worth sorting, is a hopeful enough prospect to keep me going.

Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire” cadence combined with Wicked’s “Defying
Gravity” anthem and Annie Lennox’s “Walking on Broken Glass” are helping
this cause. I’ve created an iTunes playlist with just these three songs on repeat
entitled, “Don’t start defying broken glass.”

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