I’ve mentioned several times that when my mom got sick with blood cancer and went through a Bone Marrow Transplant. It was the hardest year and a half of my life. It’s an extremely complex process, where my mom was in the hospital for almost a year. My mom was fortunate and we are several years past her transplant. I have been following the incredible astronomy/astrology that the skies of 2020 have brought and will continue to bring. I was doing a meditation for the upcoming new moon, and in the meditation they planted the question, “What seeds do you want to plant? What do you still need to harvest within yourself? Once that work is done, what is next? I was blank except for obsessing about health and struggling with my relationship with food, which is something I have also mentioned here, but I have not shared many pieces on. In my search for things I need to work on within myself, I did look at this project. It’s interesting how far I’ve come, in regards to sharing. There are things I imagined I could never share with anyone, and I have. Then there are still areas where I’ve noticed, I’ve completely avoided. I have shared some of the poems about my mom being sick, but I do try to space them out. I don’t want every poem to be based in sadness/grief. It also takes some reframing to look at these poems because my mom is doing well and it’s hard to return to a place where she was not. It brings up memories that most people do not really want to revisit. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a ton of therapy sessions that have been focused on grief. Sometimes when we think about grief, we forget that ‘grief’ is this broad word that contains a multitude of emotions. It also is not always about the loss of life. Grief is loss. We experience loss in relationships, in status, in purpose, in money, in jobs, etc. One thing that has become very clear this week in sessions of grief, is that the experience of grief always brings back memories of past feelings of grief. Once an individual has experienced loss/grief, many people live in what is called an ‘anticipatory grief,’ which is almost an anxiety of perhaps the same type of grief re-visiting, if someone or a family member has been seriously ill and then gotten better or if you’ve been sick or injured and it’s changed you’re life; anticipatory grief is living with the idea, ‘this could return.’ I think most adults carry with them some form of anticipatory grief. During the time my mind was ill, I was documenting an anticipatory grief. I was living with the anxiety of the unknown. Throughout the series of poems I wrote during that time, I wrote several poems throughout called “Fragments.” The poems target bulleted points of things that felt ‘challenging.’ I wanted them to document challenging feelings and ‘where I was at,’ in terms of feeling. They were sort of my ‘check in poems,’ throughout the whole process. Grief is not something we share a lot about. I feel like it’s an important thing to discuss. One of the seeds I want to plant for myself is to challenge myself to continue to push myself in areas where I feel vulnerable. So, today, I’m going to post the first of the “Fragment” pieces. My hope is that maybe somebody reads it and finds a piece of what they are feeling. So here we go..
1) I suspect inside you the seeds of cancer are sprouting. Science has no way of describing the way this suspicion is consuming my marrow. The thought hissed in front of me like an agitated cobra.
2) Your face is blank of expression. It is wall painted with a door, that I keep running into. You say so little. It’s almost like you don’t breathe or sigh. I am a dead river, dust after an intense storm.
3) We could expect pots of Chili, flowers, iron pots, casseroles, and flagrant petals. I tell you about them. You listen to my talk of lawns, trees, birds, and the neighborhood. I leave the hospital, sit by a lagoon envying it’s calm. My mouth opens and a scream comes out. It is silent and never stops.
4) Your cancer is like a tiny world. It dictates seasons inside and forms the landscape around us. It bloomed like a budding flower, gradual and impactful. My comprehension of life flickered on and off like a candle in the back of a church, lit by my shaky hands.
5) Calendars faded into irrelevance. I had married a vow. I wore the ring of a vow. I realized borders are always open for negotiation. My face evolved into a lake, waters always in transition.
6) The music, the flowers, the trees, the saints, and the monsters under the bed, I learned they are all finite. We are not. Maybe God discovered love making the music of the ocean or the eye wink of the stars. I discovered it as I unraveled over the idea of losing you, simply, without effort, love was clarified in an instant like a simple equation solved.