Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Good Night Heart (or Blessed Unrest)

It's after midnight and my world has come crashing down.

Listen to this:

Just a few hours ago, I had all my shit together. Makeup on. Hair and teeth brushed. Nice dress. A productive day. A fun business dinner with a group of incredible women. The home stretch of finals and school projects in sight. And now, not even a xanax and the sounds of Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Chandler can drown out the demons attacking my brain.

I put on a really good show. I think I might be the best actor I know. I give off a great impression of a fully functioning, sometimes even funny, human creature. Nothing could be further from the truth. At any given moment, I am one tear from a nervous breakdown and a straight jacket.

Jon continues to be well. I am so thankful. You don't know how thankful I am. If you haven't been this close to cancer, if you haven't been given an ultimatum with time and had it stare you right in the face, you don't know the marvelous beauty that can be found in the utter mundane. You don't know how wonderful an unremarkable night can feel. Scraping food off of a plate and into the trash. Closing the curtains. A pot of tea. Head on shoulder. It all feels so good. But, I'm worried for a dear friend who is fighting this fight. A change occurred and a new treatment plan may be in sight. I'm scared. Jon feels and looks so great. But how far away are we from change? A cough? A back pain? A headache?

Imagine holding onto a cliff, dangling a thousand feet in the air. In rare moments, I let myself let go. I stop researching the newest treatments. I stop reading medical journals for the most up to date information. I stop. Let go and get caught up in the breeze. And it feels so good when he feels good. When we focus on writing or filmmaking or creating. When we focus on cultivating our career. But, with all we've been through, it can also feel foreign. I am always one emergency away from a two week hospital stay. Always thinking of those in more pain. Knowing and feeling how easily all this can simply fall apart.

I always have one eye on lung cancer. I scroll through my Facebook page and see we've lost another amazing, incredible, beautiful person to this terrible disease. A Husband. Wife. Father. Mother. Son. Daughter. Friend. I'm crushed. When will it stop?

Please Make it Stop.

I've come to a realization: I don't think I'll ever figure out the meaning of life. It doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying. But I don't think a human lifetime is nearly enough to fathom the complexities of this experience. The beauty of Jon's eyes. Perhaps this is why many believe in reincarnation. It takes several tries. I just don't know.

At some point, every day, I make a bargain with God: "I'll give you all my creative ability, hopes, and dreams if you take away all the cancer and give us a baby and normal future." So far, I haven't heard back. Some days I feel like creativity is a curse. I then try to remember it is not mine and tell myself this...

Jon gets really mad when I say I can't live without him. It's not a romantic popcorn cliche for us anymore. It could one day be reality. God. It hurts to type that. Do I need to apologize because it's the honest to God raw way down deep inside there truth? Or can I freely declare the weight of the guilt in not having cancer sometimes eats me alive? These are the times when I think I like life way too much. Maybe more than the normal person. I am not equipped to handle death and the fact that this life as we know it, even life without cancer, will one day come to an end. I am missing that cog in my machine. If you have a spare, I'd gladly take it. I will do my best to infuse any creative endeavors I pursue with this very human struggle and insight. But, I think it would be a lot easier to just stop time.

And yet, the daylight hours will bring another endless search of writing competitions and school projects that will, thankfully, take my mind off of these late night blunders, if only for a moment. No matter how little sleep I get tonight, tomorrow I will have to mix together corn syrup and red food coloring in an effort to create blood for a vampire movie. And I'm going to enjoy every moment of it...

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion. 

-Wait by Galway Kinnell

And this... because we can never let ourselves get too sad and I'd feel a lot better if Bill Hader were my gay twin...

I hope you're sleeping,

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