IT’S SHOUTY THURSDAY…
BECAUSE YOU’LL READ THIS AND IT’S CATHARTIC TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS! YOU GET TO USE EXCLAMATION POINTS LIKE SALT ON POPCORN! IT’S STUPID AND AT THE SAME TIME, ALMOST FORBIDDEN IN MODERN BLOGGING BECAUSE IT STARTS TO FEEL LIKE A DRUM SOLO THAT GOES ON TOO LONG!!!
I’ve been blogging since March. Not sure I’ve made enough of an impact. I never used to worry about it when it was just dance 10 looks 3 at my blog with myself and me.
Now I’m a writer and I’m supposed to craft things that soar, that inspire, that amuse.
Then life threw a plot twist of cancer and I must admit, my need to write everything felt like work. Not talking about it in my writing felt like denial, and writing about it felt like an obsession. There may be no one or right way to respond to a disease like cancer, but I do know there are a near infinite wrong ways of responding to people, and fighting them all takes effort.
I do not fast well. I do not suffer well. I’m a sufferget. I’d like to forget about it if possible, lose myself in movies, books, work, the prospects of new projects, anything but the hard realness to be faced. Humor, work, distraction, these are my primary means of addressing/avoiding my problems.
Writing became a chore because writing always leads me to truth, and that means facing hard realities. So I kept opting to binge watch 30 Rock instead of writing. My prayer life suffered too…all the normal comforts, all the normal methods of dealing with life, were shuntted to the side because they felt too real.
However, a lot of my life deals with writing and truth…and thus I found myself facing the Eucharist after dropping off kids at their schools, and asking for some help because I recognized, I was falling. I felt fearful.
At work, we’re doing poetry, and the assignment for the kids was, “My Honest Poem” by Rudi Francisco.
I did my own version, because the only way through this, is to own all of it, even the ugly.
My Imitation of Rudy Francisco’s “My Honest Poem”
I’m 54. I teach English, I’m a writer, a mom, a wife, and right now, I’m scared.
I hate being scared.
I’ve always hated being scared.
I hate scary movies.
I hate scary music.
I shut my eyes at horror previews,
and when I was eight,
I freaked out over a scary cat costume,
and made my mom go back to K-mart to return it.
That year, I dressed as a princess for Halloween.
I hate cancer.
I hate all this data collection,
which only leads to more data collections,
until we start doing things, and then,
I’ll hate that too.
Everything ahead until it is over, is scary.
I hate the idea of being sliced open.
I hate iv’s.
I hate shots.
I hate having tubes sticking out of me like a borg.
It freaks me out even though it beats the alternative.
I know I’ll have to be strong.
I know my husband,
my brothers, sister, my inlaws,
nieces, nephews, all of my family,
all my friends, and friends’ friends,
are all rooting for me, and they’re being strong for me.
I’m in awe of their strength.
Somehow, I feel weak for feeling overwhelmed.
I hate clutter.
Life feels cluttered right now.
Don’t know how to get it less messy.
I’m afraid of throwing out
and clinging to the wrong stuff.
I hate being overweight.
I hate not eating.
I can remember being fit,
and it felt much better than now,
but I also know now is not the time
to start a crazed fitness routine.
And yet, the manic stupid part of me (sometimes she’s in the driver’s seat),
keeps saying, “Why not?”
I hate my grey hair
And I hate dying it.
Don’t like the smells,
Don’t like sitting still.
Don’t like that everything right now feels like work.
And finally, it’s hard because I hate feeling fat and ugly and ordinary.
And that this summer feels pre-emptively, fat, ugly and hard even if it is hardly ordinary.
In the past,
I’ve told my husband
the day before giving birth,
when I haven’t felt strong,
“I don’t have the steel yet.” I said. Yes, I said that.
Right now, I’m not yet steeled enough.
Steel is forged in heat and blows and cooled.
I am not yet ready for the heat, much less the blows,
and I am not yet calm enough to be cool.
I know, God loves me. God has me in His heart, and He has a plan. I admittedly grumble because I can’t quite fathom how this could bring about good, but I do know, God has me in His heart and has a better plan than even one I imagine that doesn’t involve any cancer. So that “Thy will be done,” is not so much a request in my prayers, but an acknowledgment that the only way this will be good, is if “Thy will be done,” by facing this condition.
Maybe all of this was to get me not to write my version of “My Honest Poem,” but to bring me to the point of making the Our Father, an honest prayer for me.