Friday, August 12, 2011

Tear Drop Flesh Holding Love Beating

I realized when my Mother calls, I hold my left breast. It’s automatic. My fingers slip into the caress of warm arm pit while palm rests on the curve of flesh right above my areola and I give a subtle squeeze. I realized it a few days ago while sitting outside lingering in the sunlight passing by when the phone rang and I answered and then began to instantly hold myself. Then yesterday I called her and did it again – fingers searching for harbor above my own heart beat while we chatted. Her left breast was removed due to “the cancer” as we have come to talk about it, joking about how she may have gotten “the cancer”, but she has never gotten “the diabetes”.

I smile at this automaton action of daughter holding her own breast. At first, I thought maybe me holding my left breast was me protecting myself. Those studies from researchers “fighting the cause” to stop this disease, tells us that it’s genetic and now I am at a higher risk when just in January I was a low risk. My statistics changed when hers did. My mother also points it out, encouraging her daughter to demand mammograms now from the doctor. She wants to protect me not from “the cancer” but from the chemo, radiation, and the body being abused for the sake of salvation, if not caught on time. Ironically, hers was caught on time, having had annual mammograms since 38 years old due to fibrous cells in her breast. From one year to the next she had nothing to then something and the doctors quickly biopsy the tiny mass. Defined malignant they scheduled the surgery and within four weeks from biopsy to surgery the mass exponentially grew. They had to remove the entire breast and lymph nodes since sentinel cells were found their too. Invasive is what they call it.

I do not live in the same town as my mother. I’m a bird who left the nest and flew away to find my own journey far from familial identity. I’ve spent my time manifesting my own destiny away from my small home town. It’s the same old story of little bird who couldn’t sing for being too different, so she went in search of a new flock that dug her tunes produced. Chirp chirp. As flight goes, no matter how far you go, until you Dorothy up and know the heart first grew in the backyard of your own history, you’re never really free to fly unfettered. The cancer has been removed and the chemo has scorched her body and daughter bird has been called to come home.

I won’t get into the details of this story home, that’s for later. For the sake of this part of the journey I will say that distance is hard when I want to be there for her. I wish I could make her shakes of wheatgrass to help the body through the bruising of treatment, rub lineament on the blistering soles of her feet; shop for beautiful silk kerchiefs to adorn her head (her preference). I wish she’d let me too, but as these stories go sometimes there are bruises that form in the umbilical chord passed from daughter to daughter to daughter until an ulcer grows and even though the chord has been cut, it leaves Momma and baby egg at an impasse to understand each others motivations, and my Mother and I still struggle to be safe in each others spaces – which brings me back to the epiphany of my story. Though this body of mine is my own story, when she calls I think I find myself holding my own breast as an act of holding her. She gave me my heart beat buried under the tear drop shaped flesh curving my precipice, our histories tethered in love beats. This is me holding her, to the best of my abilities when she calls, and I feel empowered in love for the unconscious action.

Monday, August 8, 2011

flipping the script

Late night run to wear out the body, so the mind can snuggle into sleep.
 Now I am too tired to write.
Lets do this in reverse tomorrow.

Monday, August 1, 2011

this place i know

Monday afternoon. Friends hurry away to Festival. Random texts pop up with goodbye kisses and promises to think of me on the land. I like this. I wish I could be up North this week. I feel like I’ve taken the low road while a sliver in my community took the high road. We’ll see where we’re at in the end. Big smirk, I do appreciate Michigan. Festival. Pick a word depending on locale.

I am at my keyboard, sipping coffee and slipping on my day. This GoGo is stuttering to a start today. I find myself lingering in contemplation rolling over my eyes in waves. Blinking back understanding; sometimes gasping for clarity, only to remember to keep flowing, keep breathing. I prepared myself to be away this week, getting lost in wooded reveries and fairy wonder in this movable community that centers together once a year in a great powwow. I prepared to be listening to music on three stages, fluttering my wings in greetings, maybe valley ball, to prose spun with eager lips on the café stage. Instead I am landlocked into a week in Capitol Mit, wings still buzzing for some distraction on my page.

Bummed out. I adjust my shoulder blades. Festival would have been a nice diversion while trying to place words on my life these days. My mother has the big C, though she carries it like a horseshoe anchored around the nape of her neck, a dame ready to accept her dance card in life.This case of the Cancer is rather serious at the moment. A tempered dance between the ailing in treatment and the prognoses called life. If the Cancer don’t kill you, the treatment could. Everyone has an opinion of hope and glory. I remind myself this isn’t my story, but my Mother’s, and well this is where I have some trouble because she and I never were good at the choreography between mom and daughter.

I’d rather tap out my feelings on a random sprite ready to let me read her tattoos with my fingers, or sketch a lazy day in my hammock while music rolls over my skin then think about my Mother dying or rather living through the body wearing out. There I said it. I think my mother is a beautiful woman. Her story which bore into the cellular memory in my history deserves a place in the sun. Our bond a phenomenon too common and I often wished would be undone could easily be re-spun with festi fun. What a way to honor her, daughter liberating the sun through her lens. Next year, I’ll dance for her at Fest. This year my friends are taking her name to the land and me too. I am left refocusing my energy on what feels like an impossible task. I could have used the energy on the land. In case it’s not noticed, this me is being pouty today.

I need to go home. I need to prep my head to go there. The whole world will tell me how to do this. Ah, but this place I know, this place where my heart first grew isn’t really ready to journey home. I don’t believe she ever will want to. When the big C caws though, its best to know this daughter is being called home. Ready or not. I have to admit, there is little morbidity in this thought. If my mother gave me the grace of something, it’s accepting living regardless of the circumstance. I’m simply not fond of the circumference of daughter to mother. I’m not a very good one and yet I know I am the best daughter a mother could ever have. I wish I could be better. I wish I was heading up North, getting dusty on the line and letting the energy of women unfold.  There I could find my story, understand her story, and get past this dreaded impasse where daughter wants to come home and walk with mother on her journey yet knows I usually feel swallowed up and spent. Grace tells me this is where the heart got caught up and knows it is time for her to go home and grow. Tomorrow though, today I just want to keep thinking of the land.