Tag Archives: life

Circle of Sisters


Photo courtesy of Morguefile

I look beyond the horizon of my soul, searching
for connection in the vast wasteland of my being.
Restlessness, agitation rule my waking time.
Dreams, insomnia tick away the hours until dawn.
The tears come suddenly, frequently.
They anger me, these unbidden rivulets
of misery and weakness.
I have no right to wallow and complain.
I did not lose my hair.
I did not lose my breast.
I have a scar – not enough to bear the title
of “Survivor.”

I bottle up inside the negativity,
watching helplessly as it seeps across the barriers
I carefully construct. These promises of safety failing
miserably, leaving me exposed.
A year has passed.
Get over it you drama queen!
Are you simply vying for attention
with your sudden outbursts of rage and anguish?
You don’t need anyone. You have the tools to rise
above this. You studied this, this disease.
You know it well,
all its intricate, poisonous traps and evil intentions.
I spin my wheels helplessly, hopelessly unsure of myself.

The Noble Circle
The what?
A cancer support group. Just try them.
I think you’ll be a fit.
I agree with hesitation, convinced that it won’t work.
I don’t need anyone. I have the tools to rise above this.
I have studied this, this disease.
I know it well, all its finest details.

The time has come to meet them, this group of survivors.
A weekend retreat- but I decline…knowing I’ll be fine.
A season passes.
Desperation and despair permeate my being.
My spirit leaves and watches from the distance.
I fear it’s lost for good and spend the days disheartened.

Another call. We have a spot, a September retreat.
I cry and grasp the opportunity but worry I won’t fit. They’ll have more in common
with each other than with me.
They’ll have lost their hair, their breasts, I think, but
feel relief to see they don’t look any different than me.

I feel guarded this first day and hide behind a collage of images, creating who I am, or who I think I have been.
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I lose control and cry.
Angry at my weakness, internal punishment and promises of control rein emotion in.
Benevolent gazes cause discomfort,
unfit for the attention.

A day of meditation, of food and interaction.
My essence hums with energy and excitement,
embraced with positive acceptance, fortified with
vows to dominate emotion.
A sharing circle brings epiphany.
I chew my tongue to focus on the physical,
refusing to break and bow to humiliation.
A woman speaks my heart,
and restraint buckles beneath a wave of hot tears
filling my soul with shame.
Soft touches and kind words of consolation
caress the pain away.
Sisters, they say. I squirm, unfit for the attention.

Drums pounding catch me in their beat, beat beat.
l play and dance in rhythm, two steps away from freedom,
not quite leaving memory and pain.

A final meditation,
the sharing of a story in poetry and art.
I look at those who came before me
and wonder who has passed and who I’ll meet.
A final day begins my transition to a sisterhood
and long-deserved attention.
Sister.
I practice the word, testing its boundaries
and fine lines, embracing long-awaited peace.

 

©2010 frayedges and http://www.frayedges.wordpress.com.

Advertisements

Lessons


This week someone told me that I can be a bit negative. I didn’t particularly like to hear that, but it did make me stop and think. And the more I thought, the more I realized that person was right.

It’s been nearly three years since I was in a hold up in a cartel town. I and the people I was with thought it was a cartel hit and that we would die that day. I fled back to the U.S. This week as I looked for military pictures for my work, I had a panic attack. The pictures of soldiers and guns did not bring good memories, and I realized I was still affected, still a bit scared.

It’s been one year, two months, three weeks and four days since I finished my last radiation treatment. This week as I sat waiting for my surgical oncologist to see me, I couldn’t breathe. I realized how angry I still was.

I think often of the fact that I was homeless and jobless, that I can’t find full-time employment now. And then I get angry.

People have told me to look at the bright side- I didn’t die in that hold up. I left Mexico safely even though I had to drive through some of the most dangerous areas. I got cancer, yes, but it was the easiest kind to cure. And when people have said this, I have gotten angrier, and asked them, Why did any of that have to happen to me in the first place? I quit believing that things would work out. I lost my faith in happy endings.

I have raged at the universe for a long time now, asking why. Sometimes, though, the answers aren’t clear. Sometimes you have to create your own so you can come to terms with what life throws at you.

Maybe I had to dance with death a bit to appreciate life.

Maybe I didn’t get that full-time job, so I could learn to slow down and get to know people around me.

Maybe those people were put in my path to teach me a bit more about myself, teach me that maybe I am likable, maybe even lovable. Maybe they will teach me how to trust.

Maybe that part-time job was put in my life so I could discover a career that I love and that I do well.

Maybe circumstances have conspired to teach me that things can work out. When I stop to think about it, things have worked out for me.

And maybe I have it all wrong about happy endings. Maybe it isn’t about endings at all. Life is a continuum. Sometimes it’s good; sometimes it’s bad, but mostly, it’s neutral. So maybe the key to contentment is to embrace the neutral.


White trash


Photo courtesy of Morguefile


White trash sitting on the patio, flicking cigarettes into tall grass.
Junk strewn about the yard
A camper rests on cinder blocks, sending roots into the ground
slowly rotting into the littered landscape.

White trash collecting cans, every penny helps.
Old man throws back a beer as kids scour the roadside for aluminum.
Old man looking like a fool, trying to be cool
with a cowboy hat wrapped in snakeskin, skin dirty, clothes dirty.

White trash dumpster diving looking for a score.
Amazing what folks will throw away. Just wipe it off and eat it.
Dinners made from government cheese and church hand outs.
Those rich folks don’t know what they’re missing.

White trash I was born to but never was.
Reaching for the stars, brushing off the dirt, the grime.
Staying one step ahead of myself.
Spent a lifetime trashing that.

©2010 frayedges and http://www.frayedges.wordpress.com


Samson a.k.a Hitchhiker, Aug 2010 – April 6, 2011


Celebrating Mardi Gras

Last night Samson didn’t come home when I called him. I was busy making a pie, so I hadn’t paid much attention to his whereabouts, and didn’t look for him until almost 11 p.m. When he didn’t respond, I slipped on a pair of sneakers and headed out the door. I walked out the driveway to the street, and saw him, his mangled body lying in the road. He had been hit by a car.
No more purrs.
No more cuddling.
He will never again hit the other cats with surprise attacks as they come around the corner.
He will never crawl into the washer.


Or eat my salad
Or knock over plants

Hide-and-Seek


Today I buried him in the back yard.

All I have to show for my troubles are blistered hands and a broken heart.

I miss him.


A Day


At 12 a.m. the silence screams,
deafening my senses, calming my agitation.
My meditation culminates in slumber.

At 6 a.m. the roar of traffic breaks through
my sleepy reverie, calling me to rise from the
warm depths of my bed. I greet the world with blurry vision.

At 10 am the buzz of computers and coworkers
vibrates through my being. My internal engine revs,
my body hums with activity.

At 1:00 p.m. my stomach growls its frustration,
demanding nourishment and attention.
Food and a hot drink convert the growls to a purr.

At 3:00 p.m. my muscles sing with anticipation.
I reward the symphony with bikes, and hikes, and weights.
I challenge the smallest muscle to hit the highest notes of activity.

At 5:00 p.m. thoughts and ideas clatter across my brain,
the sound of neurons firing compete with the voices of friends and strangers
as I sit in a pub and sip a brew.

At 8:00 p.m. my mind and body chirp in harmony,
excited about the day and planning the next.
Adrenaline sloshes through my system.

At 10:00 p.m. the chorus of activity has yet to leave me.
My thoughts shout across my fingers as they clip clop across the keyboard.
I type to still the agitation that jangles my nerves.

At 12 a.m. the silence screams,
deafening my senses, calming my agitation.
My meditation culminates in slumber.


Easier Navigation


There has been increasing interest in my cancer posts from several folks. To make navigation easier, I have subcategorized the archives of these posts in the order in which I originally posted them. They can be found under the categories to the right.


One Year Cancer Free


Today is my anniversary. One year ago, they cut out a 1.7 cm malignant tumor. I have been cancer free since then.

I feel good overall. I am physically able to do normal stuff. My mental state, though, has been a bit more affected. I wonder how long it will take me to stop freaking out when the doctor wants to run tests. I still haven’t found my new “normal” state, but I think I am getting there.

At least I know I am not alone with that. I was talking with a co-worker who survived cancer and he tells me it’s always there, flitting around in the back of your mind. My doctor saw me last week, and she told me it takes about two years for her patients to finally move the fear of cancer from the foreground to the background.

So I have two goals this year. One, I want to start trying to push thoughts of cancer from my every waking moment to occasional musing. Two, I am not going to beat myself up if I can’t do that. I will remember it’s a process that every survivor goes through.

I have my one year. That’s really cool.

©2010 Copyright frayedges and http://www.frayedges.wordpress.com.


%d bloggers like this: