Responses to Yesterday
Apparently, many of you liked yesterday's posting (I did, too). I have received a number of emails about it, and this is one worth sharing:
That was tame.
The two worst directed at me:
Did they tell you how long you would live if you did not have the surgery? (my sister)
How could you come here? (in the church for the funeral of a friend and client who lost a 10 yr battle with invasive breast cancer; we both had daughters in the 6th grade and there were 48 girls in 6th; it was her husband who encouraged me to have the first mastectomy).
My writing includes a section on What people say without thinking...
Compassion, empathy, and other skills are not taught in schools and parents without those skills cannot teach them to their children.
It also turns out that the author, Xeni Jardin, writes a blog, and there have been other wonderful postings about her diagnosis. This is the conclusion of the first, the ones that talks about her diagnosis. I am including a link at the end, and strongly encourage you to read the whole thing. She captures, perfectly, the terror and intensity and craziness of those mments.
The gravity in this place is different. I've spoken to others who've traveled out here, too, and returned home safely. When you become one of them, you learn quickly that you share a language others can't understand.
The trick, these fellow travelers tell me, is to accept the not knowing and find your equilibrium in that new gravity. Calm the mind. Find your balance out on the cold planet, whether or not you know the next step, or the date of the next appointment, or what good or bad news the Technetium-99 isotopes floating around in your blood during the last scan reveal.
You must be at peace with not knowing, they tell me. That is how you get through outer space, and find your way back home.
The thing about this thing, or, at least, this first week of this thing, is how it takes you out there to the cold planet again and again and again, when you aren't expecting it. Long, undulating waves of fear pull you out to where you are alone and unreachable, even by words sent from the strongest satellite.
The thing that brings you back is love.