How do I thank you all for all of the amazing emails that have been coming in from all over the world? It’s amazing really, I feel like I have allies in every little corner of the planet right now. So many of the letters were from people who don’t usually write (from Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, India, etc.). I feel very humbled and grateful for all of it. thank you.
What can I tell you right this minute? It is as if my life is a really good novel and the plot is unfolding right before my eyes. Sometimes we can only see how things are in hindsight, because we do not have the perspective. But right in this moment I feel I can see things very clearly. I hope this feeling stays, though I suspect it may not for a time. Everything is heightened, all of my senses.
I am being given all of the things I need (tools) to go through the fire. It is very much a hero myth in the Joseph Campbell sense. (If you are interested I highly recommend “the Hero’s Myth”, it will give you a whole new understanding of most movies, specifically Star Wars and most great works of literature.) There are points along the hero’s journey where they are given things they need to complete the task at hand. Sometimes it is meeting a person who can teach them special skills, sometimes it is an object. Most things are offered without the hero needing to seek them out. That is what has been happening for me in the last few days. I only needed to share my story with people (which I was nervous to do).
There are many themes at play here. A lot of excavation work, things in the subconscious coming to the surface.
Maybe at some point I will write here about the specific details, but at this point I don’t want to influence the journey in any way. The most challenging parts of this experience are still to come, (I will be having more surgery in the coming weeks and I am not sure how my eye will look/function afterwards), but I feel like I am being provided for at every turn.
for the curious, here is a picture of me a few years ago, (you can see the small bump on my lower left lid, it got slightly bigger than that but not much).
A dear friend made me the badge above recently to protect me during minor eye surgery I had to remove a bump on my lower eyelid. It seems I will be wearing the badge on a full time basis at least for the time being. Unfortunately the test results revealed that the bump is cancerous, probably requiring further surgery in the near future (though I am still learning about all the details). It’s not a huge threat, as it is a very tame form of cancer, basically the best kind to have as it doesn’t often spread to other parts of the body. But it is still a shock and I am trying to process it. It is quite possible that they will be removing a portion of my lower eyelid and then rebuilding it later.
I think what was hardest was hearing the word cancer, which comes with a lot of baggage for me giving that my mother died of it so many years ago now. It is a word that I had to live with and feared for most of my childhood and so I only associate it with scary things. And it is scary to be sure. But I have had friends reminding me that this is most definitely NOT what my mother had. My husband read an account from a doctor which said the worry caused by this illness is inherently worse than the illness itself. Which is helping me to keep it all in perspective.
I will say right now that this is definitely serving to shake me up in a good way. Things come into focus very quickly, and though I have always lived in a very aware state, you get to see all of the things that aren’t serving you, things you can do without as well as what makes you feel good. I have never been really good at resting, in some ways it’s not as bad as it sounds given that my work really fulfills me and actually gives me energy (how lucky is that?). But this is giving me an opportunity to contemplate what rest means, and why it is important. And as is always the case with these things “what does living well mean for me?” “how does your environment impact your mental state?” “what do I define as a healing environment?” All good questions. Suffice to say the next year will bring some major life changes. And while it’s challenging, I am grateful for the lessons.
p.s. I apologize if you are close to me and you are hearing about this for the first time. I have been working on calling the people in my life, and then got tired from talking about it too much (after two days). There are times in life where one must balance reality with distractions. So I have been trying to do that a bit. And, this is not life threatening, so I did not want to freak people out when I call and say “I have cancer.” I have debated about writing about it here, but I am not the kind of person who can hide the large parts of myself. I don’t believe in sharing everything about my life, but this one of those big life situations which affect everything else.
a large cup of darjeeling. a quiet house (for the next half hour). a moment to myself.
this week has been hectic. In a tired stupor one night (after a day of chasing around a cranky two year old), I knocked a large glass of water onto my computer. It ended badly, with me panicking and running to the nearest apple store the next day to try and fix it (which proved expensive). And so I sit here typing on a new machine (with a rubber protector over the keyboard) after spending an entire day trying to transfer files from the old machine (not totally successful). Current manuscript intact (thank god). I still have not been able to get my mail off, (so if you’ve written me in the last two weeks and I haven’t responded, this is why). I will keep trying but until then, you may want to write me again.
a fresh start. a clean slate. an empty hard drive. so promising. what new ideas will it contain in the coming year? what secrets? what messes?
these are tiny. found under the swings at our local park. we are having many collecting adventures on our morning walks.