All of Me

death and rebirth by Katariina Fagering

Newest painting finished this morning

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.”

death and rebirth by Katariina Fagering

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

river?

Did I fall head first

shattered, splintered, broken

overwhelmed by the deluge

of water filling

my lungs?

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.

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