This morning I was thinking about what it means when something slips through the cracks. What are these cracks people speak of?
The reason I was thinking about it is because my daughter was bitten by a dog – not pleasant and nothing to take lightly, but nothing super serious in the end. I got to thinking about ‘cracks’ insofar as we had to figure out a few different things in order to determine what to do.
I’ll list the various cracks I noticed in this whole enterprise.
1. We live in a place where healthcare is at a premium, mostly in terms of access. While there is a weekend ‘walk-in’ clinic in town the closet hospitals are 35minutes, 45minutes and 40 minutes (but that’s deceiving because it’s over a mountain and through traffic since tourist season is upon us now) and mostly understaffed and less than ideal when you have a 10 year old who has a relatively minor injury. Finding a doctor on a Sunday is no small task.
2. We had to rely on the owners of the dog in question for information – incomplete and as ‘up to date’ as could be; worsened by the fact that they are friends so it’s a delicate matter even if one is forthright and non-accusatory.
3. We had to rely on our various forms of collective memory – paper forms, demographic probabilities (her age relative to what shots she should already have, etc.), personal recollection, etc. to figure out if she was already inoculated.
4. We needed to deduce what we could from the clues we had available; testimony from a 10 year old who was naturally upset and guarded about getting her friend and the dog in trouble; the wound itself; the lack of destruction evident on the clothing; the physiological presentation of her body.
So how does this all lead to me wondering about cracks?
At various stages along the way there were things we could see and there were things we couldn’t. We could infer somethings from what we saw and we could infer things from what we didn’t. These conclusions could have gone in any direction. In the end, we have to make choices based on imperfect information and base our actions accordingly … for which there are no ‘right’ answers.
Should she be fine as a result of what actions we took then maybe we stopped up the cracks necessary. Should we have stopped up what cracks we perceived but something goes awry then there is a crack we missed. It’s a maddening situation because questions will always linger in our minds whichever way we proceed.
There are plenty of situations where cracks and fissures define outcomes; most often retrospectively. But how does something become a crack and is it always a crack or is that concept a coping mechanism to redress poor observation and bad judgement? Are cracks always there or are they a manifestation of invisibility that we will into existence to justify that which we were incapable of seeing?
Cracks are invisibility retrograde.