This journey with cancer has called forth every emotion and question I could muster. I have spent many days walking the river’s edge asking what wants to be heard and what needs to be seen? My approach has been to open, rather than collapse around my diagnosis and the fear that wells up around such an event.
What came up for me is the need to embrace all of me, the light and dark. The depths of sorrow and despair alongside the joy and gratitude. I’m done with compartmentalize-ing all the pieces and parts of me that make up the wholeness of ME! Just like Inanna and Persephone who were able to bridge both the world of the sun and the underworld with grace and eloquence, I don’t want to leave any part of myself behind.
Being congruent and integration have been my mantras during this season of reconciliating this idea of cancer within me. I had to first, soften and open to the idea of the cancer within and then soften and open some more to the idea that a bilateral mastectomy is the right choice for me.
I am feeling buoyed and supported by all those around me and also my higher self who can see that I’m a rock star for even showing up in this world. I will still mourn the loss of my breasts and will feel the sorrow that goes along with it but I know very well that, “this too will pass.”
I wrote this poem while walking along the river’s edge. I came to a tree that had shattered and fell head first into the river.
Shattered to be Reborn
Was I always
broken and submerged
in the stillness
of a fast-moving
Did I fall head first
shattered, splintered, broken
overwhelmed by the deluge
of water filling
Or did I drown in the
pure healing waters
of the raging river?
And was I washed clean of my sins
baptized by the great Mother?
Did my dark, wet hair tangle
flowing down stream
under the calm surface
where the water rages
in the deep shadow?
Did my rotting flesh and white bones
feed and nourish
the river banshees
who greedily devoured
the silvery skin of my old beliefs?
I must have
shattered to fall a part.
I drowned to be cleaned.
I decayed to let go of the old.
I’m writing this to be reborn.
Katariina, I am so sorry to hear that you are having to face this, yet from what you have so beautifully written here, you know it is a death of one sort and a rebirth of another. Your poem so eloquently describes the Inanna journey. I took this journey with thyroid cancer and know that it made me stronger and is a part of my being. You are wise and strong and you will rise. Love to you, Sister.
Stevie, Thank you for all you said. I feel held in the sisterhood of all the women who have traveled this journey. I’m grateful to have such beautiful souls such as yourself by my side.
SO beautiful and powerful. I love you so much in such a special way.
Thank you Ginger, I love you so much! We’ll move through all of this together.
Darling friend — you are more…always more…never less https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5a6zK6Sn4o
Last year I found your image of the collaged chair, and fell back in love with that medium. Just now, smitten with your painting, I am inspired, again. Really so enjoy your creative vocabulary and talent. Thank you for sharing your gifts.