The necessary rest of the soft dressing gown
My journey across the cancer seas and beyond
I am bubbling with thoughts, as I sit wrapped in my champagne pink hooded dressing gown and start to write. Questions for today surround our bridges into different life streams. If we change track from where we were, through choice or circumstance, are there obvious bridges from what was to what is? I ask this because I often find myself in the mud that accumulates at the metaphorical edge of simple structured bridges, like ones you might find in India or Thailand that cross swirling rivers. There I am, staring down into that mud and feeling stuck even though its only an inch or so deep. In looking up, or perhaps because of the bridge that is ahead, I sink into that coil of numb freeze that stops me from stepping forward. More questions come, firing through to paralyse me in my self made quagmire. Is this the right bridge? Is there another way over the chasm? Can I stay safely on this side and not move? Is there any help? Is it safe? Is it indeed a bridge at all?
I am not sure whether others find themselves in such spaces when they are in the midst of great change. I would like to believe that it is a state of being that is bigger than just mine. It amuses me to think of others pondering with me in that mud, unwilling to take a step into the next bit. I am not certain its fear that dictates this inability to step, there is an element of that regarding the unknown, for sure. But if I dig deeper the feeling is coloured by the accumulation of decisions past made, that led me to this point, navigating through breast cancer and finding meaning beyond treatment. Thus the freeze is to do with wanting to cross the right bridges, making better choices that will define a richer panorama ahead. And not taking myself into the abyss of this reality again.
I know its a psychological trick in some ways. Ultimately having cancer is a mass of factors all conspiring to that same point, from early trauma, to genetic disposition and much in between. And this procrastination is just part of my coping mechanism. Over the past few weeks I am learning that my stamina has changed, in fact its more than just stamina. It is my desire to race headlong into mission after mission. I see now that there is much to be gained from a slow and steady pace. Tortoise rather than hare. I do believe efforting is seen as a necessary component of being a worthy part of ones community. However, it holds little interest for me these days. Perhaps I have crossed some bridges already without even knowing it.
Regardless, I stand tentative when confronted by structures that would appear to take me from where I am to another supposedly better place. The sense of this feeling comes from deep within, a familiar itch, just that I paid little heed to it as I crazily charged on in my life before. Is this what it is to mature? To allow the time to rest and be, to enjoy the mud afore mentioned? To scratch the inner itch? Then I wonder if all of us could benefit from deepening rest. Indulge me, stop for a moment, five minutes, sit or lie down and just be in your human skin and breath. Can you feel the amazing blood pumping wonder of the creature that is you? I am smiling as I write, imagining you all sitting with me, letting the mud of this earth soak in a bit. The bridges will still be there. Decisions for our lives will lift us on, but lets find the time to do this rest thing together more often.