Oh, The Places We Go

In one week I am informed that two of my friends have cancer.  Another has died.  I’m at that age when really tough things happen at an increasing frequency – divorce, illness, death.  It’s happening all around me, but not currently to me.  So instead of the drama of utter despair, I have the luxury of a more detached melancholy.   A friend’s cancer reality will not change my day to day life, but it does change my view of the world.

Allowing myself to go to ‘that place’ – the deep fear place where the world is unsafe – is a slippery slope.  I fear I will be swallowed up by demons of all kinds and never climb out.  But go, I do, because it pulls me in.

I see myself sitting before God with childlike eyes and grown-up concerns.  I throw no tantrum, nor even ask for help.  I simply sit.  No questions come.  Perhaps because I know there is no answer – at least not one that I will understand or agree with.

All of my beliefs and convictions about life are pulled out of me and laid on a virtual table before me.  I sort through them, easily discarding those that suddenly, no longer have value.  Like the one that makes me floss every day and fret over the dirt on the floor.  The rest of the pieces I re-arrange, trying to make them fit together.  These trinkets are an awkward excuse for a belief system.

My child sitting beside me calls to me from what seems like a distance.  I catch myself daydreaming and scoop up the pieces scattered in my mind, tucking them away in a safe place.  I will examine them again, perhaps later, when the kids are in bed and my confidant comes home.

For now, I will continue my superfluous day wearing a new set of glasses.  Not the rose-colored ones, nor the sunglasses.  Today, I see clearly, almost too clearly – like when the eye doctor adds drops to your eyes that dilate them.  If only I could block out the light.  This new vision is just too much.

One week later, I return to a more comfortably numb state of being.  The “meaning of Life and Death” is not in every sip of coffee anymore.  My normal, slightly cloudy, vision is back.  I walk down the street called “My Life”.  It is flat terrain for now.  But I can’t help looking  back to see what it was that I kept tripping on.  And to be sure that whatever it was, is not following me.

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