Monday, April 4, 2011

the border of rage

tomorrow one of my dear friends (from many years ago) will be
going into surgery for breast cancer
she found out several weeks ago
I found out from her about 10 days ago
my boss graciously gave me the day off
so I can be there if needed
her daughter can call if she would like me
to sit with her or help in any way

on last Friday I went for a meeting at Missouri cancer center
and saw another friend (we met during the Holistic Gatherings)
and she was there for treatment
we smiled at each other as she was getting her vitals taken
and I went to the chemo room to spend a little time
with her
if she would like company

she was tucked into a corner nesting and there was
a woman sitting next to her who radiated this powerful
loving energy
my friend's Mom
well, we met and it was like I had known both of them
Mom teased me about being "famous" and that always makes
me squirm
but this time it was just fun and I threw it back at her
when I realized she was a "bigshot" artist in town
and beyond
so we had this laughing thing going
as I noticed how tired
her daughter, my new friend, looked

it is a recognizable look
we can try to hide it behind laughter and hope and
fighting spirit
then it shows
in a passing glance
the way her eyes blink slowly
or gaze up at the bag with fluids going into her body

I wrapped her in another warm blanket
she showed me a powerful healing necklace she was wearing
and told the story of how she came to have it
her son - when she said "my son" I saw that familiar
light shine
in her eyes

I asked her to do a "rubbing" of the Chinese characters
on the surface of the necklace
she will give me the rubbings tomorrow evening
and I will send them to my friend Stephanie in California
and asked her for a translation if possible

the three women dynamos in the chemo room
said a few words here and there that exposed a vulnerability
we let pass through our lips, moments and times of pain,
for example when (her) Mom lost her desire for creating art
and blocked it out for a long time after her daughter's
original diagnosis of cancer 8 years ago
our mutual art friend chemo nurse Nancy helped her
surface her art again
and we realized how intertwined all of our stories truly are...

then I had to leave the chemo room
for my next meeting
after hugs

I walked solidly
almost pounding, yes pounding, the ground under my feet
somewhat like the way I am smashing the keys on this computer
as I write & notice the similarity

as I made my way toward the car in the parking lot
there was this overwhelming feeling forming from the core of me
a rage, a desire to scream at the top of my lungs:
"WHY all these lovely people?"
countless faces rushed through my mind
my "cancer family" the connections that sometimes are stronger
than physical family bonds

I knew the rage if nurtured would be useless and damaging to me and that
the energy
must be redirected even before opening the car door
I let the scream happen inside
and then let it go

turn on the ignition
engage the gear in reverse

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