Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 22 - 40 days of writing - wings

“ You strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do,
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
~ Mary Oliver, from "The Journey", in Dream Work (1986)


So very true. that poem above.

A poem. Ironic, isn't it?

The waiting is over. 

My surgery is scheduled. 

I really like my oncologist. He is a gentle man with a mysterious air of steel reserves that make letting him work with my choices a dream.

I have power over this process, power that the oncologist has given me. This is special.

I have received so many gentle gifts in the words of people I know.

It is so hard to be humble when one feels so betrayed by their body.

I recall the days when I worked to help get Arizona to use the funds allowed to states through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000. There was a community lobby day where people went to speak to legislators about the importance of these services.  One of our FEMALE state legislators listened to the impassioned plea of several women who were lobbying that day, many of whom were cancer survivors. The FEMALE (in caps because I am still incredulous) told them that she was unable to support the legislation they were requesting for her to support because "only women who are loose and get abortions will get breast and cervical cancer".

Thankfully, we were able to pass this locally. 

Like my life right now, there is nothing coherent about this post. 



The Bloggess pinned it to her Pinterest account

I miss my old life. I miss the tendency towards being boldly dangerous and striving to do noble things. I miss my light, my ability to frolic. I miss being fanciful, and feeling beautiful, and also of being fearless. 

I miss my wings.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 18 - 40 days of writing- The long, slow, walk to the guillotine.


My paperwork is filled out.

And I sit here, today, tonight, feeling like I am awaiting an execution.

There is such an ominous feeling in knowing that tomorrow all this becomes so much more real. There are conversations I have to have...   decisions I have to make... all of which feel overwhelming to me now, even before they are completely and specifically known.

And as I contemplate them... the ones that are somewhat known, they feel so bitter.

I can't ask "Why me?" because this is a product of life; choices that I made and that have brought me to this junction. It is futile to wonder the why, but in my most self pitying moments I wish I could scream this into the abyss... and then reason takes over and answers me gently.

Nature is so cruel. I was brought up with that in my every day life. And yet, I want to scream... "why do this to me, why take the one thing that is a symbol of being a mother and obliterate the last few years of my chances at having more children". "I wanted six", I want to add to my scream, and in the end I feel weighed down by this incredible failure of aspiration.

And perhaps it is this failure that makes things in this situation so damn hard, because it is just that. A failure.

I look at the exotic eyes of my beautiful son, and choke up at how much I love him and how profoundly lucky I am that he came in to my life, and feeling that the intense lamentations of the ones who were never to be born are equally lost to him.

Couple that with the idea that I should be grateful that I do have him, creates a whirlwind of emotions as intense as they are complex. 

That which I have held most sacred, motherhood, will be denied me (in this way) much earlier than I am ready for.

The rituals of this disease are subtle and fierce. My physician turned my care over to the oncologist. I do not get to return to him until I am released back... much like a prison sentence.

And so, I feel like my dinner tonight was a last meal... and tomorrow will begin the long, slow walk to my own personal guillotine.




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 17 - 40 days of writing - procrastination, anger, and trying to let go

I have had my paperwork to fill out for my upcoming oncology appointment for over a week.

It was on the floor for several days, then I put it in my work bag to take and complete on a break, but it still is in there. It is not filled out.

I have to fill it out this weekend. 

I want to avoid this whole thing. It is all encompassing. It permeates so many things.

***

An email sent to explain why I have to turn over some of my volunteer efforts and how I would like to see them handled gets forwarded without thought to the information contained within. People   who see that email decide it is OK to come up to me and tell me the email has been forward and mentions of things like "your condition" and "your health issues" permeate the conversation that she thinks is acceptable to have in front of my son. 

I want to know why everyone thinks it is appropriate to think it is a good think to talk about this in front of a child. 

Others have done this, talking about my cancer in front of my son.

And they can frolic away thinking they have been so good and noble and all because they got to tell me they are concerned while I am left with a concerned son, who has since started throwing up at school (again)... something I believe is tied to stress and concern.

And I want to yell at these well meaning but stupid people; "Why the fuck have you decided you can make this more complicated for me and then think you are so dammed just and gracious?".

They are so blissfully unaware. I have to let go but as I deal with a son who I am trying to convince that I will be fine and nothing is wrong and because he dwells in silence from not understanding what is going on has no idea of what questions he needs to ask and I can't know what I need to address.

I don't know how to tell these people that they have been wrong in how they handled this. I am not even sure that I should. I know that if I would do something so thoughtless that I would want to know. but I don't know how to be gentle about it.

I wonder if this is about displacing the anger at the way my body has betrayed me towards others. It is hard, and confusing, and ever so extremely frustrating.


I recognize it goes both ways, allowing what will continue I mean. Do I allow myself to dwell in my reactions or do I allow them a lesson learned so that they can learn from their experiences. 

Who needs the most of my energy?



How do I travel this road gently and with grace?


Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 16 - 40 days of writing - cosmos and faith

A conversation I had about faith.

Link


This assignment is due by Sunday night, but I certainly hope to have a nice “dent” in its completion by Friday, if possible. I truly appreciate your help on this. Would you mind telling me your age, where you are from, and if you followed your worldview since your youth or did something influence a change?

I am 45 years old. I was born in Bogota, Colombia to American parents, though we did not often socialize with other expatriates. I also lived in Spain, Ecuador, and Mexico before moving to the USA.  I think it was this experience that led me to my world view. I am an agnostic, but specifically a theistic one; meaning I believe in a supreme power/being, I just feel that knowing who or what that is lies outside of the purview of human understanding... and since faith is outside of the realm of scientific understanding I do not hold it to the rigors of scientific research.  I do however, approach my faith with a deep curiosity and search for more knowledge and insight.
 
The required elements are outlined below:

1)      For this assignment, you will interview two people with different worldviews. One will have the Christian worldview and the other will be one of the following:
a)      Atheist/Naturalist
b)      Secular Humanism
c)      Pantheistic
d)     New Age

I do not consider myself to be any of these, I consider myself to be a theistic agnostic. 


2)       Include in your interview, the following prompts:
a)      What does it mean to be human?

I see humans as part of a cosmos. We are on this planet/universe and part of a whole ecosystem of things that evolve and works both for and against each other.  I am seeking to understand why there is a need to see how we separate humans from the rest of living things as I am not convinced this is an appropriate means of thought.  I tend to eschew thinking that humans are any more special that other living beings, but get uncomfortable at the use of the word special here... perhaps it might be a word like meaningful. I think that since we seem to have things that we call "reason" and "thought" that using those involves a certain responsibility (and should add that each living organism has the responsibility to act according to its make-up; so a cell must do what cells do and a fish must do what fish do and thus a human must do what a human does).       


b)      What happens after death?

As I assume that this questions seeks to discover my thoughts on the concept of an after life, I would have to say that I don't know, but I am OK with this uncertainty. I tend towards falling back on certain principles in the hard sciences in that our afterlife continues in forms of energy, quarks and strings. I do know that ancestors carry on an important legacy and perhaps that their roles and stories being carried down in various forms (traditions for example) might be the most beautiful thing that happens after death. 


c)      Elaborate on who Jesus Christ is according to your worldview.

He was one in a series of people who have served as messengers regarding valuable lesson in human cooperation. 


d)     How does your worldview deal with the concepts of evil and suffering in the world?

Nature is cruel and has no remorse. I don't think there is evil. Things that tend to be associated with evil in terms of humans are aspects of human behavior. I think that this is where things like religion are important (I tend to tell people that I am religious and not spiritual) as they serve as guides to encourage cooperative behavior and perhaps to curb tendencies that might not be as socially productive.


Thank you again for your time!!

No, problem. It was very delightful trying to get my thoughts on paper though I do feel like I did not do them justice. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 15 - 40 Days of Writing - Poetry

"but in the end

if we're lucky
we'll have the love 
of a precious few
maybe the ability to stare
death in the eye"

I am not shy to say that I loathe / hate / dislike  am ambivalent about poetry. OK, OK... Most of it. I love Yeats, and Keats. And Robert Burns. and a few isolated bits and pieces from others... I love the poems that Doralice puts on her blog... they are pretty [insert expletive] awesome... but really not much more. I only own poetry books that people give me. I have never purchased a book of poems.

If you navigate to my previous posts from 2011 you will see my desperate and unsuccessful attempt to try and find the magic in poetry that so many postulate that it has... (the posts start with "My favorite Line is.." if you are curious).

I even took a Coursera course to try and get it, figuring that I was reading them wrong or something along those lines. But, I found so much of it to be sad and pretentious and boring and far too much work to enjoy.

Maybe it is that I prefer Hemingway like poets, meaning that they use simple images, words, phrases, and images that make conjuring up the magic story that poetry can be, so seamless and easy.


Is this really true?

Anyway, that line above appeared in my feed on "The Facebook". 

The whole poem can be found here.

So, I know now that what it is is that I am not a fan of most of the post modern poetry, I love the romantics, the ones who use and understand words with so much more grace, who don't try to fray you out of feeling a place in our world, I don't like the ones that push you into spending hours trying to decode what in the hell they mean, that make you feel like you are sitting an a very uncomfortable perch as you try to find meaning in them, that seem haughty and petulant with words meant to tease the reader. Those, I find difficult. I can't read them without wanting to throw the book they are written in across the room.

I don't need a poem to make me feel good, I can be pushed to sadness, and anger, and any other emotion but I need to connect to the words. I fight bitterly to do that in those times when I have sought to read poetry.

But that makes me ask, what makes you tick when it comes to poetry? What poems do you love? what poets have inspired you enough to purchase a book of their poems? If you write poetry, what inspires you? Do you feel ridiculous (exposed, vulnerable) when you do?

I am just trying to understand.