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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-12-11 09:07
Subject: [personal] Hearts are like the sea
Security: Public
Location:By the sea
Music:Talking Heads, "Once in a Lifetime"
Tags:oregon, personal
I went for a two-hour pre-dawn walk along the beach this morning. This had its own challenges, ranging from not tripping over ducks and rabbits, to keeping an eye for sneaker waves (they kill a few people almost every year here in the Pacific Northwest), to noting the progress of the tide, to well, walking in the nearly pitch dark. Still, there is something profoundly calming about the breaking of waves, their foam fingers a gray gleam in the deeper darkness of the oceanic night.

I've found things on the seashore before. Right here on the Oregon coast, I once found a diamond ring rolling in the water's thinnest edge as the ocean encroached upon the beach. Sea shells, love, lucky rocks, forgiveness, dead seals, inspiration, the green flash at sunset... Eventually everything in life comes to this margin between land, sea and sky.

This morning I found a measure of acceptance.

Acceptance is something I'm not especially good at. That same psychotic persistence that I have oh-so-successfully applied in my writing career manifests as a sort of manic attack on problems. Viz my turbulent journey thus far through cancer. Not that I indulge in denial. My lack of acceptance rather expresses itself in new forms of resistance. Or attack. In never letting go.

Hearts are like the sea. Boundless, layered, benthically deep, ever restless, especially in their intersections with the world and with other hearts. You can bring yourself or someone you love to the sea and give it to them. But you cannot take the sea. It cannot be grasped in your hand, or pockets, or taken by storm or siege or subtle subterfuge. It just is.

Neither can you take a heart. It can only be given. Freely and with joy. And sometimes, love is not enough. No matter how much you love.

So I walked in the dark, between my heart and the sea. The ocean had no new wisdoms for me, only its same old, slow-rolling thoughts. My footing was treacherous and my eyes made tears faster than the wind could pluck them away. And at least for a while, I let go of everything but my love.

Acceptance is much more difficult than fighting on.

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User: djelibeybi
Date: 2010-12-19 21:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've left this a little while for specific reasons.

There is a well-known and documented condition called "post-chemo stress". It's when you come out the other end and you're not having to cope with the medication any more.

While you're going through it, everyone rallies around, they say things to cheer you up, they help out with the weekly shop, they pop round to keep you company, they ask if you need a rest when you go into work, they see how ill you are and they offer support. When it's over - and you tell them you don't have to be poisoned any more, there's an element of *okay - so you're better now* and they can ease up on the caring for a bit. I've noticed this with my work colleagues. Because I'm getting better, they ... they don't exactly forget, they *try to let you get back to normal* - and that's something I've been trying to do too.

The Bloke and I have had a couple of 'tense' weekends recently. I think it's because we're at that stage where we need to try to get back to normal but I'm not as fit as I was and it takes me longer to get around to do things and I'm slower - at the moment - to get my act together. I resent this not being able to just get up and go into the shed to make new shelves or into the attic to bring down the christmas tree and decorations. I may never be able to do it again (I'm not as young as I was) but it's very frustrating.

What I'm trying to say is this: Tim supported me through everything - twice. There were days I never felt like getting out of bed but he was there to encourage or bully me into doing so. And, now, I want to give something back. Something which says "thank you".

I took him to a good old-fashioned cinema today to see the Frank Capra movie "It's a Wonderful Life". It's a start, he loved it.

You and yours are not me and mine but I just wanted you to hear from another "post-chemo" stressee at this time. You have my very best wishes.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-12-19 21:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you.
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January 2014
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