Cancer Chronicles, Part 14

We went to Costco donning this mask (read about it in an article about radical prevention of Covid) and the amazing thing was that no one looked at me or at us askance. I felt like I was in Star Wars at one of those crazy inter-galactic bars and so, it seems, was everyone else. When I asked for ghee with this insane mask on, the guy didn’t blink as he directed me to aisle 312. When we checked out, the cashier treated us like it was business as usual.

What an amazing time this is. When I am not immersed in my it’s-the-end-of-days-I know-it thoughts, I remember to ask myself, are you okay now? Are you safe now? I feel myself relaxing, even with the smoke, even with our bags packed, even with the pain in my breast that the doctor now says might last two years instead of the one he originally told me. It’s a balance, living with the way so much has changed, continuing to be vigilant about virus protection, noticing that in this moment I am safe, and taking action (writing letters, encouraging everyone to vote, donating money to fire fighters, people who have lost their homes). If I just notice that I’m safe now, then it’s all about me and I don’t take action. If I notice I’m safe now and extend that relaxation, that love to people who are frightened or have lost their homes or jobs, then I am part of a community in which each person matters.

I’m realizing that having (had) cancer is a portal not a hole, that this time is a portal not a hole, that even the sadness or the grief or the fear is a portal not a hole to deeper, wider dreams of wisdom, clarity, joy, connection.

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