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Cancer journey
  • Snake goddess: Improvising breast cancer

    Today I sit beside my mother, hooked up to her chemotherapies. Tubes leading straight into her chest, into her veins, changing the chemistry of her blood and body. Drip drip drip.

    She sits peacefully in the medical recliner, scarf on her head, blankets, which were once warm, upon her legs. She alternates between closing her eyes, reading prayers, chatting with me and my sister, and diving into Pinterest for the simple pleasure of gazing upon beauty, having a laugh, and adorable puppies. Here is one of our favorites.

    I set up an altar on the little table that attaches to her chair. I set it up each time we come and she lets me, probably more so for me than her. She takes her favorite stone, Ruby Zoisite, and places it inside her shirt by her heart, its home for the next several hours. I stand the snake goddess up and place the other stones around her in a half moon. She is the renewal of life and that which transforms and embraces change. 

    In times of change learners inheret the earth; while the learned find themelseves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.     -Eric Hoffer

    My mom begins telling me about the technique that improvisational actors use called "Yes, and..." No matter what your acting partner says or presents to you, your mandatory response must begin "Yes, and..." You do not have the choice to negate, redirect, belittle or ignore. It is total acceptance. Your life, just as it is happening, not how you hoped or imagined it would happen. With this simple practice and in this moment, there exists the beauty of pure possibility.

    When presented with change, we resist and fight tooth and nail to keep wearing our old skin. It is our security blanket. It's all we know. Change happens whether we welcome it with open arms or not. So why not be the learners. The improvisors. Let's be beautifully equipped to deal with our reality and our ever changing worlds. Shed our skin, shed our hair.

    She is the renewal of life and that which transforms and embraces change.  She is my mother.