I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.
Catherine the Great
A fairly wide ranging set of things for this week, or so I thought; until I realised they share a direction, intent, message. Saved into my ‘bookmarks file’ over a period of 10 days. And then discussed with camparigirl on Tuesday night – only to find she is in the same place mentally as I am. Is it the planets aligning, is it that her cancer has focused us both, is it a function of our age? I can’t be sure, but here, for your perusal is what has bubbled up from my subconscious.
I have been inhabiting a kind of limbo for quite some time now. Yes, the cancer diagnosis contributed to this feeling of suspension, and I realized it would take some time before I could hit the reset button but, if I put my honesty hat on, I will have to admit my life felt purposeless long before the cancer.
Garlic is an interesting vegetable. Its flavour and pungent after-effect divides people into those who do ‘do’ garlic and those who don’t ‘do’ garlic. I used to be one of the latter – loved the taste, but the smell would suffuse my body for days after I ate it. I could feel it fizzing in my blood. I was once sent home from my Saturday morning job at a clothing store because of the aroma I was emitting. “Love garlic too”, said Vaughn, “but let’s face it darling, garlic and fashion just don’t go.”
On Thursday morning, halfway through my volunteering shift, on a whim, I crossed the street outside the hospital and walked into my oncologist’s office, to pick a copy of my onco type dx test. I folded it into four, stuck it into my pocket and retraced my steps to the hospital. Sitting on a bench in the glass and steel lobby, I unfolded the paper, smoothed it and stared at it for a long time.
This week, without straying far from home, I have been riding a roller-coaster. Caught in the maelstrom of sleepless nights, misinformation and trying to keep worry at bay, I have done a lot of web surfing to keep myself sane. And maybe laugh a little. Here are some tidbits I came across that you might find equally delightful.
I live in a country that has many divisions: race, religion, financial, gender, education, each accompanied by their own particular brand of entitlement. Sometimes I get frustrated by being included in that noun. But, even as I rail against the unfairness, I understand that it is true. As much as I might not like it, or want to admit it – I am entitled. I am protected by the gifts bestowed on me at birth, by the circumstances that existed in the place of my birth, by my education, by the options available to me because of all of these things.
But most of all – because I am wrapped in a pretty pink skin.
I attended college in the city where I was born, Bologna, while still living at home. Sort of. My mother put up with my comings and goings at all hours, creeping in at 5 in the morning; inviting friends for lunch or dinner at the drop of a hat; shutting myself in my room for marathon study sessions. No questions asked, provided I kept my grades up.