So you know how you turn on the six o'clock news once in a while, then turn it right off after 'headline' stories? - the latest murders, or idiot politicians, or world disasters? Personally, I'd rather focus elsewhere - walk, or sing, or read a good book.
But having been hit by my own evening news - i.e. cancer whacking, punching, and kicking me like a mean school bully - it's harder to turn off. Some mornings, the dread is there as soon as I awaken - a weight that sits on your head and heart, saying your life will never be the same again; in fact, may soon be over. I weep for the loss, and then move on.
It takes a very concerted 'focus elsewhere' to make my mind walk, sing or write a good book, and change the structure of my brain. Fortunately, I sing out loud in the real, outside world, which is a healing experience, but I also have had forty years of being a massage therapist, so on the mornings that the dread doesn't totally debilitate me, I know how to mentally massage myself; to go into that part of my brain and brain waves that are associated with healing, and to use that energy to focus on a specific body part.
I do this in the hope that I will shrink the wayward and out-of-control cells that somehow are currently active in me. Does it work? Don't know, but it makes me feel better, helps me to think that I still have some control, and just generally reminds me of what is important in the life: i.e. love, an intention to help, an openness to wisdom and knowledge that is available subconsciously, and an awareness that while I don't know a lot, I can be a conduit for good if I simply allow it.
So in this evening of my life (I'm not old enough for the late-night-before-the-final-big-sleep-bedtime news yet). I say, "Begone, cancer - get thee out of me!". And I've taken to my own personal "Go Shrink Me" campaign, which is to ask everyone I know not to waste energy feeling bad for me, but to spend a few seconds daily thinking of my bad baby belly and shrinking-to-elimination that demon child, which strangely, I might have foreseen in a poem, "Bad Babies" I wrote back in 1988:
So yesterday morning I woke up,
Curled on my side, as I often am,
And my eyes, when I opened them,
Beheld a strange sight.
There, between my thighs,
Was the beatific and sleeping face of a babe.
"My God!" I said, "I have given birth in the night".
I wondered if it was alright, with only its head out,
And quickly gathered it up.
I thought about the cord, and how you cut it -
I didn't really know, but I remembered all the
Natural births I'd wanted and thought: "Oh yes,
I'll just lay her on my chest. Everything is fine."
And it was.
Except for some things I noticed later,
When I held her in my arms:
She was sucking her own thumb, and continuing in her blissful sleep.
"What's wrong?" I wondered, "Doesn't she even know enough
To want her mother's breast?"
She looked a little too self-sufficient.
I worried that she was not normally needy.
And then, there were her legs: lumpy and toady -
Covered with spots and warts;
And the black hair, that was so black, and yet,
Long and straight and fringing the underside of her chin.
A voice murmured: "A demon child."
"Oh really," I thought, "she's so cute."
And still, I had to admit, devil babies probably were cute -
They had to start somewhere.
What to do?
The others - (I'd had three other babies,
All normal, all born that night), -
Would be enough; I could toss this one -
Even the Christians would approve of that.
The problem was: I liked her.
She was cute, hair and warts notwithstanding.
And with the loving upbringing I intended,
Would prove the silly superstitions wrong.
She couldn't really be a demon, could she?
When I looked up "Bad Babies" I found this, written twenty years later, in 2008, on the day my momma died; Today is her birthday. no title:
Huge white panther at my side
Like a baby; fearless hide
Belly-up, inviting strokes;
And a smile that invokes
All her regal, massive power -
Set aside while we have our
Intimacy - public now -
And our comfort, showing how
Her prodigious size and strength
Would keep me safe should she
Unleash it all.
Long story short: I may die sooner rather than later, but today - at least before more chemo comes, -
|ME, AGE ONE|
|SINGIN' IN THE RAIN|