the grass the mastodons and your homeland

Posted on February 28, 2012 by Val |3 Comments

i will tell you about this thing. but i can’t tell it all at once. there is no road to summary.

i want so very much to be able to answer accurately people who ask me how i am.

i think, well, i can walk.

deborah can’t hardly walk.
and i have this huge sense of being loved and cared about.
i can’t emphasize what a consolation that is. feeling like you are not worth loving is a thing that can take the skin right off a person.
i haven’t had it much in my life or for long. but it surely made an impression.

mostly, it is a sense of the surreality at the whole affair. you have to go about the business of breakfast and the tiresomeness of putting on extra layers against the rain, while casually breathing in and out the end of time. it is a residue on the tongue. it keeps you from seeing in sharp focus or up close. everything is wild and big. everything eats stars.

the meteor is headed straight into the upper atmosphere and soon, perhaps sooner than we can guess, everything, your little body, your ideas, everyone you have loved imperfectly, the grass the mastodons and your homeland, are smithereens. or less even.

we might not even get to clap the dust off our minds and survey the damage. see? no wonder i’ve lost a little fine motor control.

the problem, of course, and i do think less of myself in that i perceive this as a problem, is that the meteor is only coming for me.
this just means that i can’t run amok, arms in the air, with all my fellow nearly departed. there is none of that looting camaraderie here. i have to keep it down. be cool.

what’s worse, is that there’s all this hollywood precedent where you have to be stoic and full of wisdom. or positive. man, i can not tolerate thinking positive. it feels like intentional self deception. positive thinking wants to deny me the opportunity to explore the rare awful wilderness laid out in front of my feet. even though it looks like it will always be dark and treacherous. but it won’t. because nothing is only one thing. and thinking positive will not let me go forward into this deeply interesting land. will not let me see what is actually beautiful about it. when there is only one acceptable destination (the one i have decided is positive), there is more life i don’t get to have.

anyhow, so here’s what is actually hard about have stageIV metastatic lung cancer with a dollop of recurrence:

A) people are often glad to notice that they are not me. i don’t blame them. but i do wish they didn’t think it was so horrible as all that. it freaks me out. i start to think maybe i’ve got it all wrong. if you are so terrified of the thing i got, maybe i am completely misreading how horrible it is that i have it. maybe i’ve been completely stupid! i should be freaking out too!

the problem is that freaking out is some seriously aerobic exercise. you can only keep it up for so long. then you have to do something else. or go somewhere else. like another reality. (more on that later)

B) it’s feels a little personal sometimes. although of course i know better. this is a dish we all get to taste. some of you for a second or two maybe. and some of us get to relish its complexity for years and years. we never seem to finish. there is always more. this interminable last supper.

this is an interesting thing that i never considered before. we are all born without knowing it. we gradually become aware that we actually exist. and some of us will die without knowing it and without considering it much, if at all. and some of us will die watching it roll in like a lazy storm. so what would you prefer?

(it’s a personality test)

  1. “It feels personal sometimes” Indeed, how can it not, as mostly we exist within the confines of our own skins, of our own thoughts, and we experience ourselves and the rest of the world from that point of reference. For me, it is the rare, treasured, and fleeting glimpse that moves beyond those too-tight boundaries, allowing that broader, more humbling, less-personal perspective to unfold. How can we make it less fleeting? Embrace it more fully?

  2. The meteor, as metaphor, will hurl itself toward each of us with precision timing. Although it the most intimate experience each of us will ever have, it will be a shared experience. The challenge is that we can only chat about it as it comes our way, but there is little chance to discuss the experience once it has transpired. As we are here and the air is filled with meteors, we must investigate, share, process, and commit to this discussion of time as a commodity. We must imagine the impact, however gentle or scary as Hell. But we mustn’t spend too much of our time imagining the meteor strike and what happens beyond it as we will miss the time we are given today.

  3. Aren’t we all just shooting stars in the scheme of things? The universe is so vast and our time here is so fleeting. Some of our stars shine brighter than others…and Val..you are definatley one of the brighter ones. Thank you for letting us catch a glimpse of your fleeting moment

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