Searching For The Underbelly
It is Mothers' Day today. And it is tragic. It is confusing. It is melancholic and anxious. There is some relief mixed up in there, a little hope, and a lot of wishing.
One year ago today, I announced that I had cervical cancer.
All these emotions are here somewhere, but I am not truly feeling them. I am taking muscle relaxants and listening to CocoRosie and wondering why I cannot turn any of these anniversaries over to see what they mean. It is as though they have no underbellies.
What does it mean to be told you have cancer? What does it mean to go through invasive examinations and day surgeries to see just how bad it is and then a hysterectomy at thirty-five? What does it mean if you have always resented this female body? What does it mean when you more or less made the decision not to have children but had that power taken from you, and now you feel even less visible as a cultural sub-class? What does it mean that I do not feel like the person I was before this, but that the difference is transient, nearly intangible, shifty as shadows beneath a tree on a windy day?
It makes me feel like nothing means anything on its own. I have often thought this, and it is not really a terribly sad thought. It means that we are responsible for our own creation, that we see the pieces and pattern them out into the maps we become.
Part of me wants all these things to mean something beyond myself. I want this to be the universal playing itself out in the particular. I want all of this to be greater than my body and my mind and not to die with me in fifty years. I want this to be more than human
I want this to mean something beyond my own survival. People are happy that I am well now, that I am alive, that it was not worse than it was, and I am happy about those things, too, but I am still aware of this fundamental shift within myself for which I have no words.
There is a larger place than me for these things I cannot even fathom.
I want to create gods out of experience; I want the gods to know themselves; I want others to see them.
There must be an embodied sum somewhere. It's wound around my fingers, if I can only feel it.