The love of my life wrote this in dedication to my dying mother. Cancer has a grasp on us all in some way.
Without the darkness, could we even witness the light? Could we see it seeking purchase and exploding through like points of diamonds, dismantling the unknown? I have encountered many plagues of darkness in my days. And I have witnessed the measure of me expanding for them all. It takes a star reaching the peak of its glory and imploding, to become a creator of all things. The path of this super nova reminds me of the cancers I’ve encountered, and how they’ve never managed to defeat the light.
What is cancer…? Sometimes cancer can be a pervasive thought that inhabits every tract your mind spins, twisting your perception. Something as simple as “that’s stupid”, every time your specific genius strikes, you inhibit yourself with this phrase. And like a cancer you allow yourself to fail to be fully realized. This is a most common cancer, a cancer perpetuated in the beautiful pages of every Cosmo I pass. And demonstrated in the self-deprecating mimicry I vomit out for your listening pleasure. I am filled with this cancer of self-doubt, and I play at this game I loathe like I’m destined for the crown. Why?
We are so programed by this hologram of reality that we haven’t even glimpsed the truth that abides within us. The raw soul of this girl yearns to accept my flawed self and to wholly accept yours as well. Yet I find myself spewing hatred obligatorily in the corner, just to feel acceptance. I can tear you down with them, and build ourselves up onto a tower of venom and seething jealousy. And atop it we will be until the venom starts to erode, just as its eroding the light within. I am tired of this cancer. The best thing about this strain is the ease with which it can be treated. I can stand in the halls of my dialogue like a wide receiver, (yeah you are wide!) intercepting thoughts like this. I can re-train the patterns and plays of my mind, and re-route my destiny. I will spread light and love, and I will lose the need for your approval. Fuck You. Keep it.
Another type of cancer is a slow killer called grief. It can slip in and take hold in an instant, one minute you are yourself the next you are unrecognizable. This cancer is commonly accepted, regularly untreated and can be fatal. Why do we grieve and why is it so consuming? Is our pain reaching our lost loved one, and do we honor them with our absolute devastation? When grief captured me in the numbness of its gauzy wings I fancied I’d just fade away. I was too broken to exist and too weak to scream for euthanasia. While I was lost to this world, I was reduced to a demoralized hovering mass of self- medicating and hypotheticals. I would sell my soul to a devil I didn’t believe existed a thousand times a night. I would wander the halls of the past like I’d traversed time, slipping through the black hole conveniently residing in the space within.
Within this darkness, chaos was king. I was resistance. I bled recourse, imploring the heavens to take me. Acceptance was an impossibility. I could no sooner move on, than I could bring my daughter back into existence. This cancer held me in its clutch for four years. I was lucky. I hear the beautiful tales of lifetime lovers refusing to live after the passing of their twin souls. I am strangely touched, even though I have treated my cancer with acceptance. I choose to live today for the twin souls I’ve lost. I seek to serve them with every milestone and requited gesture of life. I sing to them in the song of my soul flourishing. I paint elaborate pictures of them to those that struggle to remember their faces. I have traced the outlines of their souls onto the inside of my weeping eyelids. I won’t forget them. I won’t dishonor them with my sadness. I am immune to this cancer, inoculated by an influx of loss and remembrance. I dance today for those of yesterday.
And then there was the blackest of cancers, the cancer that hovers and haunts my world today. This cancer invades the body, robbing you of your years. With black masses that steal in, forcing your body to rebel against you, while quietly leaching you out of existence. This is the cancer I hate the most, it fills me with trepidation and terror. It is unknowable. Everyone you encounter may be teaming with it, just waiting to abandon you. With their eyes roving in hollow sockets, glazed and unfocused, terrified of the eminent end. I live with the absolute knowledge that it is only a matter of time. Even if this wasn’t the intended journey, my trepidation wills it to be so. I try not to loathe, for to loathe is to waste your life energy. I try to find the bravery to accept the body as a temporary vessel. A boomerang hovering in our consciousness for a fleeting moment and then soaring off to another dimension, this is the path of the soul. But it is not so easy to relinquish power and attachments. I am powerless as I watch another incredible soul defiantly battle this disease. I am helpless to fathom, to intercede, to relate. I am desperate for a miracle, yet I am reduced to watch as if I were watching a car wreck, aghast at the injustice and helpless to intercede. Is it all just the whim of the sickle? I am bleeding for your fear, summoning my suffering in solidarity.
As the cancer takes its bounty, I’ve gotten to witness the most amazing evidence of god. I watch your light grow brighter, pushing back the darkness that would consume you. Your struggle rivals the battles I imagine that filled the coliseums of Rome with shrill screams of perverted delight. Your already far-reaching spirit only reaches farther and more. Changing those it touches forever. I see the place in you I long to discover in me, it hovers near the surface. I’ll name it enlightenment and see it for what it is. The endlessness of you, in this moment, opening like a flower in warp speed is breathtaking.
While I haven’t yet found the treatment for this cancer of blackness and fear, I have learned a few things. I’ve learned to stand and fight against all of the injustice I encounter. I’ve learned that it is never too late to turn around and find yourself, realized. And I know now that it is in the darkness of struggle, that your true light can be measured. I don’t know what tomorrow holds and I will fervently believe in the power of the spirit, overcoming the darkness. Thank you for these gifts and miracles witnessed. I am in your debt and in your service. When the end finds you, as it will find us all, if I am still spinning tales, they will include the truths of you. I will paint your portrait for those that seek to remember. You will live on in us. And I trust we will be well met, in the next life as it rises up to sweep us all together… again.