And so today’s moment of happiness despite the news.
This morning, when my alarm went off, I rolled onto my back, stretched, and stared at the ceiling. Which is what I do most mornings. Usually, in my new breast-cancer-usuallyness, I immediately do the math that allows me to know just how many hours it is before I can fall asleep again. But today, I didn’t.
I looked up and thought, Huh – I feel pretty awake today.
Yesterday, when I finally settled down to meditate at about five o’clock, I realized I just spent the afternoon with my daughter, walking through a mall, trying on clothes, having lunch, having coffee, and I didn’t feel that tug to be home, to be in bed, to take a nap. When I meditated, I didn’t fall asleep.
On Wednesday, as a student was on her way out the door, she turned and said, “I have to say this…it’s so good to have you back.”
Have me back. I haven’t been gone. But…I understood what she meant. I was fully there, in that classroom.
And again, back to this morning. When my phone rang at 10:00 with my first client, we greeted each other and she said, “You sound really awake this morning!”
Which, on the one hand, makes me think, Good lord, how tired was I? How much did I let show?
And on the other hand, it makes me think that maybe the fatigue is finally going away. Maybe I’m fully back in my skin, my body, my mind, my heart, my soul.
Let me tell you, that one hand, and then the other hand, well, they started clapping.
This afternoon, I sat down in front of my computer and opened the file for my novel-in-progress. My novel-abandoned. Left behind in the blur and grief and pain and fatigue that was recovery from surgery followed by radiation treatment. I didn’t think I’d ever work on this book again. I thought I was done. Literally. The End.
Because, honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d be around long enough to finish it.
Writing is who I am. Writing is what puts iron in my blood.
And so I lost myself for a while.
But now… “It’s so good to have you back.”
Days in a row without naps.
Meditation that is really meditation and not unconsciousness.
Waking up, looking at the ceiling and making a mental list of what I need to get accomplished that day, not a list of hours before I can sleep again.
And writing. Writing!
I opened the novel-in-progress file and I decided, instead of starting where I left off, to go back to page one. Start moving through it again with what I knew then…and what I know now.
That novel looked right back at me and it ROARED.
Throughout this whole ordeal, beginning on June 20, I have been obsessively playing Linkin Park’s new CD, One More Light. And the one line that has gone through and through and through my head for months now is “I wanna fall wide awake.” I didn’t know, when I first began to listen, when I first began to hear, how much I was going to feel that line. What all it was going to mean to me.
Well, now, I’ve fallen wide awake. And I am so grateful to those who pointed it out to me. I’m always so busy looking out that I sometimes don’t notice what’s going on in here. But I greeted the ceiling this morning. And I felt ready to get up.
Hello. I’m here.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.