When faced with an unpleasant reality, like being told I have an incurable rare cancer, I first take 10 deep breaths. But […]
Aspens, their leaves
graceful in the wind,
reasons to smile,
reasons to dance,
reasons to make each
Yes, cancer changes everything. Things I did two years ago are not even possible now. Is this a worse-case scenario? Yes and no. Yes because I love to cook, hike, and explore the world around me. I can’t do that right now. No because I’ve an opportunity to learn new ways and new perspectives.
Under a week into residing at the 8000 foot level, Oly and I moseyed about with our eyes and lenses wide open. Here’s what we captured yesterday, one day past the summer solstice.
I’m coming closer to grasping that Zen concept of the temporary. It’s liberating both my mind and heart. Nearly 50 years later, I’m actually understanding the words of the late philosopher, Alan Watts. This is a good thing. And it is not such a good thing.
The book lived in a King Edward cigar box stuffed with a tiny prayer book for Catholic sailors during World War II, and a black beaded rosary. Wrapped in tissue, a broken statue of Mary in her blue and white robes remains where cigars were once offered. A smattering of black and white photos with tropical backgrounds and sailors in white shirts and dark pants have notes written in pencil on the yellowing backs, “This is the line to the latrine!!” and “Here we are waiting for tonight’s special meal — Spam. Oh Brother!”
Admittedly, I’ve been lost as to where I’m going to go next and what is ahead and how do I deal with the many changes in my life. As I’ve written before, I’ll be in cancer treatment for the rest of my life, and most likely at the Phoenix Mayo Clinic. So it made sense to move there. Yet, a level uncertainty brewed inside of me.
Yesterday, with a friend, I walked along the beautiful the Central Coast bluffs. A magnificent display of wildflowers spreading color up against the cerulean blue sea was breathtaking. My friend shared her story about a recent whale watch trip. “It was great. We saw seven gray whales. But there was a baby whale that was alone and swimming south instead of north. That bothered us.”
Photographers like this hillside. It’s juxtaposition. It’s unique. It’s a challenge to photograph because one must be mindful of traffic, mud, holes and lord knows what else to get that perfect photo.
For me this moment paralleled how I feel these days: Like a poppy seeking the sun and holding my delicate bloom together against a hard and rocky environment.
I am much like you.
I’m a gadabout
dressed in threadbare wings
still fluttering from
flower to flower…