Being Human

I walked to school this morning absolutely swimming in the delight of my childrens antics. I love watching them be kids and I consciously indulge them (and me!) in doing kid stuff – good and bad, because lets face it, the only real way to learn about life is first hand. Right? Childhood is the research and development stage of our lives. Children absorb what is going on around them like sponges. The longer a species spends in childhood the more sophisticated their brains and more sociable they become.

Our intelligence comes with a huge capacity for love and compassion. Our intelligence is what makes us responsible for, the huge task that is, caring for the earth and everything within it. Who knows, maybe our future is to continue that responsibility even further out into the cosmos than we realise.

I walked home alone. It’s a beautiful day and every flower in existence seems to have blossomed over the weekend. Flowers, beautiful and delicate, reminded me how fragile we are, fragile and human, how susceptible our bodies are to invasion. I walked home feeling a bit lost.

Fear – the monster lurking under the bed, in the closet, being chased with no escape. No matter how hard you run the stumbling, faltering steps of the zombie will always catch you up. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Cancer. We pride ourselves on technological advances in medicine – diagnosis and treatment. But in the end we succumb to this relentless, indiscriminate monster.

In terms of writing, I’ve struggled with the bad guy in my book; I struggled with exactly how bad I can make him; how malevolent and horrific can he actually be? He could be cancer. It comes with stealth and, almost, idiotic naivete. It can spring up and just be – to exist for a moment but when that existence persists it becomes destructive by it’s very nature.

I wish I could reach out into the ether and touch everyone who’s been affected by cancer; to lift something from them; relieve the anxiety; restore them and still their disquiet. My husband is being treated successfully but sometimes it gets me down. My dear friend Verity is fighting hard – just two out of many I know and love. A couple of new diagnoses in the last month or two have wobbled me. This latest one has finished me off for today. It’s all just little too close to home.

I feel so small I could be almost nothing. I feel very human.

You have to suit up – whether you like it or not – be thrown into a ring to fight the most physical battle you will ever endure. You can’t close your eyes, you can’t hide. Doctors load you with ammunition from the sideline. No matter how hard they pray to change places, the people who love you can only stand and watch. The victors prize is time.

When my husband was diagnosed we were told that of all the cancers to get CML was the best one! It seemed ridiculous at the time but we joined them in their hope of getting the good one. Hope. At the end of the day what else can you do?

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4 thoughts on “Being Human

  1. Hope your husband and friend recover soon. Cancer is definitely the modern scourge that everyone fears, but all one can do is fight and try to remain positive. The positive energy is stronger than most people realize.

  2. As you know I’ve had my own experience Zakia, and I also have one of my dearest friends battling with it too. All I can say is to appreciate the beauty you see – spring has arrived so late it’s almost as if it’s trying its hardest to be as beautiful as it possibly can. Your husband’s health is part of that.

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