October 25, 2007

the big suck

death and the nearness of death have been in the forefront of my thoughts for some time -- since i was diagnosed and spent a good amount of time invalid early last year. these days, it still seems to barely escape me.

i found a great difficulty getting back in touch with reality afterwards, not only because i was displaced in a sanitized environment with only fragments of my memory and possessions, not to mention loaded on chemo, but, incapable of living the activities and seeing the people who formed my sense of self before "all this had happened." in a spiritual sense, it was the equivalent of beginning over with less than nothing.

most of all, i was alienated from many people -- some who i loved the most -- physically, and because i was ineffectual communicating this new substance i carried. to know and love someone, you must know their story. and to tell that story takes time.

now that death was near the heart of my story, how do i tell it? how do you ever make death and illness palatable? especially those whose young lives are light of suffering, without poverty, or are too much in a rush anyways to think about such things?

since this time, the stories, movies, books i loved didn't affect me the same way again. maybe because i find them too fancy and contentless. flashing images without a real story to tell. to be honest, i've just been looking for a good story of survival. there wasn't something i really responded to and really wanted to share until i picked up the best american nonrequired reading from pegasus and found a war correspondent's essay you can read here. and yes, there are a thousand more in a billion pictures.

i think you can always read a story and tell if the feeling's authentic, that the writer is telling you things she's known. these stories are the ones that strip everything down, because there really isn't much to tell a story except your life and your observations.

1 comment:

jean said...

what a blue post. feeling better now.