A Page From The Double-Overtime Playbook
Wandering In The Thin Place
“Do you feel like you’re living on borrowed time?”
We have accidentally fallen into the tradition of catching up over early morning coffee around the holidays and on this day we are each picking at breakfast while slowly waking up when he asks the question. I don’t remember exactly what I said in response, but it drew us into a discussion of how I am not only in the position of living on borrowed time – a situation a small portion of the human population will experience – but that I am in the position of living in something akin to double-overtime. I’m not sure how many of us live in this sliver of life, but it certainly can’t be many.
“Does your dad live there too?”
Its an ordinary question. The pickle it puts me in has become ordinary too. I can answer honestly – “My father passed away” – and put this stranger in the uncomfortable position of realizing he just innocently brought up far too intimate a subject for individuals who just met over a conference dinner. Or I could simply answer, “Yes, he’s in Connecticut as well,” which, when I stop to think about it, wouldn’t really be a lie. Because we did bury him in Connecticut and his physical body remains there now, fourteen years later.
Any Way You Slice It
“How wonderful and feminine, the listening to our bodies when they whisper no.”
Her words resonate in a place that still feels new. A chamber of my heart that I until recently I didn’t realize existed. The place from which I am able to sit silently and hear the gentle whisper of my being.
Ayurvedic Cleansing 101
“So, you feel better then?”
I want to slap her.
I’m at my gynecologist’s office – the regular, ordinary gynecologist for once – and in the pre-appointment “so how’ve you been” phase of the appointment, a member of her staff gets confirmation from me that I have not had anything new come up since my ovarian cancer diagnosis. And that is her response.
So What Is A Mystic Anyway?
I really love food.
A very dear friend jokes not infrequently about my diet when we first met. It consisted of cheeseburgers several times a week. Cheeseburgers were (probably still would be if it wasn't for the whole veganish thing) favorite.
I also have a ravenous sweet tooth. And never meet a carb I didn't like.
I am still super adverse to labels these days. I have a feeling this might be a permanent change in status. But I’ve thought that before about many things and have been proven wrong, so who really knows.
In the interest of sharing my work with y’all, it seems like it might be important to get on the same page about a few things. So in the coming weeks we’re going to spend some times making sure that we all have the same baseline understanding about what I mean when I use certain words.
Today, lets talk about what I mean when I talk about being a mystic.
The Next Chapter
“Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the light, no man cometh unto the father but my me’ Gospel of John” [sic]
I knew it was coming, but I still did a tiny double take when John 14:6 popped up as an unrelated comment on an Instagram post of mine from a few weeks back. That post was of a three card Goddess pull I had made – no God or divinity related hashtags, no reference to Christ or Christianity. I still can’t figure out why this was the place the comments began. It was an interesting choice. Maybe it was selected because in some ways it offered one of those extra layers of anonymity that the Internet allows.
But I got the point.
What Would Jesus Do?
“I don’t want to turn into the cancer girl again,” I sigh as I flop onto his couch. “But I feel it happening.”
I was the cancer girl once. Known around RVA largely due to my willingness to chat with folks about what it means to be 23 and be kicked in the gut by a surprise diagnosis. It didn’t happen to me, I took the role on willingly, but over time it consumed me. If you ask me now, applying that particular label to my forehead is in no small part responsible for the follow-up diagnosis I would receive 14 years later.
Its Been One Year
“What do you need to feel ready?” she asked me.
It was almost exactly a year before the cancer diagnosis I didn’t yet know was looming so close. In the Skype window reflecting my image I could see row after row of purple bordered diplomas and certifications behind me. A law degree and a master’s degree. Admissions to the bars of four states. Papers conferring on me the readiness required to carry out certain tasks.
“Ugh,” I grumble as I lean closer to the mirror. “I have got to do something about these eyebrows.”
I inherited all the Lebanese traits from my father’s side of the family. The good ones – like a thick, dark head of hair – and the not so good ones – like thick, dark eyebrows.
It’s as if an invisible hand slaps me straight across the cheekbones. I have eyebrows. Eyebrows so thick, dark, and unruly that they need to be maintained yet again.