Thursday, December 9, 2010

Each Step is How I Got Here

With all these memories of my youth I have been accused of living in the past. Cancer gives us the concept of living at the moment and the ability to appreciate every single thing, the necessity of viewing life from a brighter side. We have plenty of dark moments, wondering what these aliens inside of us are doing. I always thought my preferred death would be a mishap with a cement truck. Suddenly lights out, here and then gone. I have changed my mind. Cancer is a relatively slow process and give you plenty of time to think. You are presented with the opportunity to examine your life, not just the "what did I do to get cancer" part but all of it.

What did I do to get to where I am at? Do you recall the saying, "no matter where you go, there you are!" Things happen in life, sometimes in just a moment, and they become the fabric of who you are. We are not made from one cloth.

Experiences become significant when you react to them and each one alters you in some in some tiny imperceptible manner. Or they don't. Or, like the frieght train they become an event in its singularity, by its very isolation, one single kiss that can change you forever.
Cancer is such a kiss but I think there are others. I am not living in the past. Time and ocean waves do not destroy every footprint in the sand. We are not lost. There are ways to discover how we got here, broken branches, breadcrumbs, songs, something. We have left behind a trail of evidence and that is all I am doing, trying to discover how I got to where I am, what turns I made, the roads I travelled, and why I am not just a grain of sand.


  1. I do believe that my past is part of 'who I am'. The environment where I grew up, the roads I travelled later, the people I called 'friends', the ones I left behind.

    The intrpretations and reactions to moments in time....that is who I am ... an unfinished canvas ... some fraying edges on the canvas, some pretty heavy blobs of paint, some smooth and tranquil strokes.

    I don't believe looking back is so damaging as long as we perceive it as 'looking back' and not 'lamenting back'

  2. Jerry I agree with you and Ruby. This old Sanscrit poem which was written out in my little black book a long time ago has always said it for me:

    Look to this day:
    For it is life, the very life of life.
    In its brief course
    Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
    The bliss of growth,
    The glory of action,
    The splendour of achievement
    Are but experiences of time.

    For yesterday is but a dream
    And tomorrow is only a vision;
    And today well-lived, makes
    Yesterday a dream of happiness
    And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
    Look well therefore to this day;
    Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

    I love you dear friend oxoxox

  3. StonedPost, I appreciate the comments by Ruby and Constance. I live with the thought that if 'I knew better, I'd do better.' Yesterday I was accused of making many mistakes in my life (including my choices in my cancer treatment)
    I understand this is a difficult journey for those around us however, it is OUR JOURNEY. Do they think it's a 'walk in the park? Reflecting on the past helps us to come to terms with where we are now.
    I can see that your Followers are growing in number telling me we love to be part of your journey.
    In my thoughts my friend

  4. We are very complex beings Jerry, not at all simple. .. We ARE every single moment that has happened to us, the good the bad and yes the ugly. I was as you say hit by a 'frieght train' not literally of course, but it felt like it and from that moment to now 26 years have passed .In that time it has influened me every single day from then to now....When something significant happens to us it becomes a part of who we are right now . it's not living in the past it is who you are today. For every one person who says you are living in the past I would say there are ten others that read your blog and are seeing some hope for them.. Jerry, you look fantastic, healthy and look at that mustache !!

  5. We are all the sum of our learning. Our learning takes place through our past experiences, they become part of who we are. You are an intriguing person and I like hearing your stories.