2013: Oh look, here we all are

Did you find yourself here again. Bummer right? My sentiments exactly. Jeez, I almost hit that 3 year mark and “blammo!!” everything changes. Originally it kind of felt like sliding backwards, but the truth is we are always moving forward even when we are visiting unfortunate and familiar things; be it bad attitudes, too much drinking, or cancer.

My first reaction when I found out was actually a keen appreciation and wonder of the power of intuition. Part of me knew cancer had returned. Or to be more precise it turns out it had never entirely left. It was just hiding and slowly growing.

The second feeling was fear for my kids, for putting them through what was in the near future, and fear for what is always in all of our futures, but hopefully not too soon. death. But even my emotional brain knows when to reign that in.

The third feeling was of failure. But I didn’t want to admit it. When Adrian and I left the oncologist I grabbed my trusty book off the dashboard of blessing by John O’Donohue and did a “lucky pick” to see what John and the universe wanted to let me know. The book fell open to A Blessing for Failure. NO SHIT, I kid you not. So of course I slammed the book shut and said; “lucky picking is bullshit. That’s the wrong poem for me.” All Adrian said was “Oh?” and then there were the tears and the admission that I did indeed feel like I had failed. Failed in all my efforts to de-stress, to have an occupation that made me feel great, to appreciate my life and my kids my life so much that it would save me; I felt like I failed to find the key to turn cancer off. Failed because I had to tell all these people who love me and who I absolutely adore a message that would make them sad, mad and scared.

And it has taken me a great number of days to feel like I didn’t fail. I haven’t lost or failed. I am here. I didn’t get hit by a car, have a heart attack, or eaten by a shark (mostly because I only went in the water up to my waist, but it could happen…) You get my point. And I get my point. You are alive, I am alive…today, right now. I am alive and I may have cancer, but I will tell you what, cancer doesn’t have me.

A BLESSING FOR FAILURE by John O’Donohue

IMG_0265 The will of color loves how light spreads
Through its diffusions, making textures subtle,
Clothing a landscape in concealment
For color to keep its mysteries
Hidden from the unready eye.

But the light that comes after rain
Is always fierce and clear,
And illuminates the face of everything
Through the transparency of rain.

Despite the initial darkening,
This is the light that failure casts.
Beholden no more to the promise
Of what dreams and work would bring.
It shows where roots have withered
And where the source has gone dry.
The light of failure has no mercy
Of the affections of the heart;
It emerges from beyond the personal,
A wiry, forthright light that likes to see crevices
Open in the shell of a controlled life.

Though cruel now, it serves a deeper kindness,
Wise to the larger call of growth.

It invites us to humility
And the painstaking work of acceptance

So that one day we may look back
In recognition and appreciation
At the disappointment we now endure.

 

 

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