|Sunday evening sky.|
Earlier this week as I drove to the food co-op, I was brooding about cancer and chemo and side effects and my possibly shortened life. I had Halima Bashir's memoir Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur playing on CD. It's a gripping story, but that's all it was to me at first, a story.
Suddenly it hit me that it was real, that this woman was real and her experience was real and, in a certain and very tragic way, it was not unique.
And then it hit me that my experience is not unique either. People get cancer every day, go to chemo, shave their heads, make the best of it.
It wasn't a bad feeling. I felt no shame as I noted my self-involvement, nor bitter despair contemplating all the suffering in the world.
At the same time, I realized that comparatively, what I'm going through is not so bad.
And then I felt something inside me brighten and expand.
|Rain and sleet last night and today. The world is sealed in ice.|
I'm not sure I can rightly describe the shift. It reminds me of that day when J~ and I came across the car accident. I realized that I am still very much alive, very much a conduit of the pulsing electric current that is life itself. I remembered that I still have plenty to offer to this world, and plenty of pleasure to take in the process.
Back in October when I was first coming to terms with the fact that I have cancer, when my prognosis was not yet determined and the prospect of death loomed large, I shared a thought with J~. It may sound trite, but here it is: More than anything, before I die, I want to give away all the love in my heart.
Of course I will fail, I realized as I spoke. The more I express, the more love I'll feel, so I know this is a losing proposition.
But hell — as someone recently reminded me — none of us gets out of here alive.
Sometimes success is not the point.
No holding back.
|My brother's kitten, named after my surgeon.|
|Millie and my neighbor.|