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  • Writer's pictureAli

I'm here and awake. Just sayin'...

I want to be seen today. Up until now, I have kept my bald head covered, because of the cold, but also because it seemed to say, "cancer". That was when I was so skinny I stayed under cover. Now, I've gained back some of the weight and I am feeling some familiarity returning to this not-the-same body. Some say I look like a monk!

In this photo, I am looking through the frame-like panes of the sliding glass door at a bird sitting on a wire, speaking loudly in long winded, intermittent bursts, to nothing in particular. There is no return sound of another bird, or anything I can sense. But the bird continues, clear and rhythmic and persistent.

I wonder what I'd say if I were not waiting for a response, but simply "bridging the silence".

I wrote to my friend Amy this morning:

"My life has become strange to me ... I get up and look under and behind me for some evidence of what I might know".

George and I are reading together, "Becoming Animal" by David Abram.

He writes,

Oral language gusts through us—our sounded phrases borne by the same air that nourishes the cedars and swells the cumulus clouds...

...the power of language remains, first and foremost, a way of singing oneself into contact with others and with the cosmos—a way of bridging the silence between oneself and another person, or a startled black bear, or the crescent moon soaring like a billowed sail above the roof. Whether sounded on the tongue, printed on the page, or shimmering on the screen, language’s primary gift is not to re-present the world around us, but to call ourselves into the vital presence of that world—and into deep and attentive presence with one another. This ancestral capacity of speech necessarily underlies and supports all the other roles that language has come to have. Whether we wield our words to describe a landscape, to analyze a problem, or to explain how some gadget works, none of these roles would be possible without the primordial power of utterance to make our bodies resonate with one another and with the other rhythms that surround us.

I wrote in my journal this morning, "My life... opens here in front of me, in me and as me. There is a way I feel great - coming home into this body after 9 months of being shocked, shaken, infused, terrified out of my life. I isolated myself without seeing it, unable to manage in my relationships what I couldn't manage in my own skin, looking for a new language, a new way of experiencing this kind of real"

I am two weeks into my new medicine, with some side effects that I can manage. I will see this week how my blood is responding. I feel better than I have in many months.

This week, I'll attend my first support group with women sharing my diagnosis. An interview was necessary to join. The woman clearly had to discern how able I am to listen and speak about recurrence. Honestly, the idea of it makes me nauseous. Apparently I passed. She explained later that, if we are not able to bear and listen about the experience of recurrence, we will resist others who need to speak. She is the mother hen of the group, protecting those who need a safe place to speak honestly from their experience.

I look back out the window. The bird is gone.

I think she was singing, "I'm here and awake. Just sayin....!"

Time for a walk and some food.

with love,


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