For a long time I’ve imagined the day I’d finally take off. Having successfully crowd sourced my book chronicling Creative Crushes, all the truly talents friends I’d cultivate. Finally meet face to face the incredible artists and souls that I’ve … Continue reading
Albert Camus wrote “in the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.’ I believe he was speaking of an emotional space, an essence. I am fighting my way through winter. This particular frost … Continue reading
Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford
Kate flew through the doorway. This was just like her, sensing when I most needed company. Without a word, Chinese take-out in one hand, she pulled me towards the kitchen.
“I just don’t think I can do it. How do I say goodbye?”
Pushing aside my blank attempts, placing mu shu before me, she coaxed “Eat! The words will come”
“I don’t have any”….she pulled out a pair of chopsticks and topped off my wine.
“But I’m a fork girl.”
“I know, Zan. It’s for Brett, just the way he likes it, with enough Sriracha to guarantee your eyes water.
Word Count: 100
P.S. Please make sure to read the others.
I have been away too long. Missing all my Friday Fictioneer Friends. So it seemed as good a time as any to jump back in.
Yesterday a blog I read directed me to a site where you discover how many of you are out there. So you know I was curious. I hopped on over and was fascinated by what I discovered. Whilst increasingly putting myself out into the world I have been progressing further into anonymity. How is that you ask? Well, let me tell you.
I started with my Maiden name and Voila! There is only 1, ME. Honestly I wasn’t surprised. Next I used my first married name. There are 12. My second married name elicited 137 matches. Last I typed in my chosen name, my current name. There are 686 of us.
I used to avoid all social media. I had no presence on the net. I never voiced my feelings for others to peruse and yet I was easy to find in the world. Now Here I am with my own blog, twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest accounts (sorry Facebook I still abhor you) and am still much more hidden. I’ve become increasingly incognito, must have been subconscious. (At least that is what I am telling myself).
Now my friend, (previously referred to on this blog as the Yente. That is until she informed me this was a meddling gossipy old woman, not a matchmaker. Hence the nickname correction), the Shidduch replied to my post Ode to My Valentine. Her one observation (the one she makes time and time again) was “when you speak of vulnerability you always say you don’t want to reveal too much of yourself. No photos, no identifying signs. But, really, you pour yourself out on that page, as vulnerable as can be. Such an interesting if banal juxtaposition in many great artists who prefer to reveal their internal voice only, feeling it on its own is far stronger (and less vulnerable) then they (i.e. you) as a person navigating this unforgiving, many times uncaring world would be”. She felt lucky to know both the flesh and blood woman as well as the bleeding artist.
I responded to my apparent dichotomy” I cannot speak to other artists, only myself. There is something of a sense of divinity I feel when creating, like I am a vessel, a conduit for the words or images. (How narcissistic does that sound?) By keeping my corporeal being out of the mix I prevent the contamination of ego. And in that vein I give over to the muse when she calls. It’s easiest to just get out of her way. (No, perhaps it’s schizophrenic?) Of course this is not referring to the times I am blocked. There are plenty of those. I see why many see the line between artist and insanity as attenuated. (Really I’m just a chicken).
These days I have no sense of time. No sense of things. Nothing moves as it once did. What seems long is short, short is long. I am stuck in a time warp since surgery. Since my cancer was confirmed. Since I became a survivor and began the cue of waiting, hoping to remain cancer free. My odds are good, the best they could be really. So much has changed it is hard to fathom it has been only two months. How could that be possible?
I’d like to forget, pretend really that cancer was ever a word associated with me. But you can’t. I can’t. I haven’t even gotten the hospital bill yet nor gone back for my follow-up scans. Sometimes at night I roll over and a twinge reminds me of my still healing incision. So how could it possibly feel so far off, so long ago that life was simpler.
I wrote an old high school friend, a fellow cancer survivor. My email entitled simply Cancer arrived in her mailbox, 6 years out from her treatment for ovarian cancer, on the 2nd birthday of her son. She wrote of my news, of cancer, of her survival:
“We may regain our health, and perhaps find greater happiness than we knew before our illness, but there is no denying the tragedy that we’ve all endured; all is not necessarily well that ends well. There is simply no regaining time and innocence lost.
Managing as a survivor – at least for me – means fighting in some sense to deny the centrality of cancer in my life. For if you can’t ever really get away from it, if you can’t just “forget” for a moment that you were ever sick, or temporarily erase the memories of that fateful meeting with your oncologist, or the moment you were wheeled into the OR for your surgery – how are you supposed to fully inhabit a life among the living?
If only those memories could be extracted from my consciousness, removed like the cancer itself.”
Oh how I wish I could resend my email. How I wish neither of us had been touched by disease. That I could roll back time. If it were possible she would wish it for us both. But as she puts it support is everything, to know the unique comfort of other survivors. Still I wish simply to have been able to write “Hello Old Friend. Tell me all about your life and loves.”
Then last Sunday I got a message from WordPress congratulating me on my Blog’s 3rd anniversary (It actually said 4th but that’s simply not true). I thought, “That can’t be possible. How did three years fly by unnoticed?” Admittedly there were fits and starts, life ran off the rails, went off the reservation, amuck, astray…. haywire. Hence the holes in my blogging. And all that was before cancer.
Perhaps this is no longer simply an artistic outlet, an exercise in stretching outside my comfort zone. This was never a commercial blog. It was never about making money (still isn’t). I sought this avenue as a means of expression, an outlet for my heart. One I hoped to share with others, to create a community of likeminded artists and inspire one another. I love being a Muse. And secretly I fancy I am. That I have moved someone, affected their life in some little positive way. Because if there were no tomorrow I want to think my time here made a difference, that I make a difference. The possibility of life ending without warning brings up deeper questions- ones I grapple with every day.
Then it dawned me. This is why 3 years passed by nearly unnoticed. I’ve been doing something I love. To be bold, strong, courageous, colorful, and free, not afraid of whom you are. Creative expression seems timeless. And this is my creative canvas, one that gives me freedom to express my passions. It is my way of dreaming, conversations, laughter and intimacy. All of this is what makes my blog what it has become. So much a part of who I am it’s breathing. Underwater perhaps, but I’m a fish so no worries. Thank you for being a part of it.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Now go out there and give away some kisses!
Blast from This Blogs Past
The Weekend Reading List
- The Loonies and Lovelies We Meet While Traveling ~ I definitely need to take a trip.
- How to Make Love Stay:6 Endless Tips ~ Love fiercely with connection and vulnerability. Remember women are sexier when their getting dressed then undressed.
- Write the Fuck Out of Your Life ~ Truthfully because you have no choice. It’s who you are.
- The Most Important Part of the Creative Life ~ Finding space in order to create
The Power of Love ~ Gabrielle Aplin