Saturday, March 19, 2011

scratching the surface, peeling away

attending the Holistic Healing meetings / seminars
has been more than "a good experience"
"a good experience" is such a catch-all phrase
and when I find myself hearing reading or saying it,
I either cringe, pause, or ask (myself) another question
as a follow-up
hoping to get something more
beyond the surface scratching
or more like surface skating that it is

a few years ago I was at the tennis courts and was asked
by one of the tennis-Moms:
"Gloria, how are you?"
and I answered somewhere in the vicinity of:
"Well, it has been kind of hard the past couple of weeks
with this chemo, but I am trying... (along those general generics)
and she shot back before I could "whine" much more:
"Great! You should say 'I am GREAT!' whenever anyone asks you how you feel
because that means you are positive and give positive energy out and that will help you heal..."
and I just said right back:
"OK, then. I am great."
inside I thought: yeah, right: a great big liar.
that "(not very good) experience" affected me for a long time, still does apparently
if I write it down now and still wonder...

I understand where she was coming from and I do the positive thing
and go beyond
and think of others who are worse off than I am
and how lucky I am that at least I can get treatment
that I am not dead yet
that I didn't get run over by the proverbial car or truck or bus
that it was me instead of my children
yes, and the list can be much longer than this because of
what I have witnessed firsthand
hugging or smiling with, waving to, someone for the last time
in this life, things like that

I laugh MUCH more than I cry and crying for myself is rare
I see the JOY of LOVING and LIVING more than the dark side

every once in a while when I am asked:
"Gloria. how are you?"
I do answer completely honestly as gently as I can.
with true friends, you can say anything at all...

is it for pity? no
is it for attention? don't need that
is it because I am self-centered? don't think so
is it because I trust you and need to be understood and may need help / support
in that moment? good chance for that

would it be nice to be "great" all the time?
how safe am I to scratch below the surface even in the mirror
in front of myself alone?
is it painful to peel away layers of self-protection and become as
vulnerable as a baby just entering the world outside of Mother?

if I go below the surface scratching and clawing my way inside,
and peel layers down to the core...
what will I find there ultimately:
a seed of potential, still, even at this older stage in life?
am I afraid of changing and/or growing?
is it worth the time effort and risk or should I just
focus on surviving and keeping things as static/stable as possible?

cancer peels you away whether you like it or want it or not
your surface is so scratched and poked and cut, irradiated and pummeled
with little pills that pack mighty wallops
that you have to be in total denial or dead not to recognize that your life/you
have changed enormously
it is an opportunity
not one I wish on any human being,
but a vantage point that others might get a perspective from
should they decide to love us and listen

even if I meet a person who has the seemingly exact diagnosis as I do
has been through the same treatments, etcetera, I will never ever say:
"I know how you feel."
"I know what you are going through."
"I have been there before." another etcetera

on the surface, yes, on some level, but I am talking about
on the pure essential level

I spent a very long time in a kind of limbo
a floating in-between realities state.
all I could do was sleep knit scarves eat a little and go around
on the medical merry-go-round

I am now trying to walk with my two feet on the ground without breaking too many more bones in the process.
at the same time,
I am trying to extend my mind-scope to be as open as I can be to
ETCETERA to all those qualities of life that matter

a pearl starts with a grain of sand that is mega-irritating to that
layer after layer after story after story then finally a pearl

I find the grain of sand to be quite a beautiful little miracle in its own right
when you stop and think about it...

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister. I have two philosophies that I try to follow: "Life is for living" and
    "You do the best you can with what you have". It gets me through.