I close my eyes, I breathe in the semi sweet, semi salty air of the cool porch night. The moon beams overhead. I lay my head back, kick my feet up, and let go.
It feels like it will not end…the touch and go. I almost made it through half way, but there is also another half to know. It doesn’t feel like a success point, or a resting point. It feels daunting. It feels too big. It feels unbearable. The last one took me out. Humbled me. Reminded me of the poison pumping through my veins. My body throbbing in a pain too deep to explain. I can feel my organs going into overdrive. I gaze in the mirror, the muscles retreat. What is left, is soft and lumpy, hanging off the bone.
Almost overnight my body morphed into something foreign. The outside beginning to match the sickness. Reality coming into sight. And a fear creeps over me. A fear that time will stop. The fear reassured by what feels like deterioration. Not now. Too soon. I am sad, I am ANGRY. I feel like something has been STOLEN from me; my youth, my maiden AND my motherhood, my fertility, my cycles. That which is SACRED to me, that which I have longed to feel and embody; that which aligns and connects me. The blood that is my RIGHT, the blood that anchors my fight.
And the moon still smiles. Holding the light in the night sky.
Swiped by circumstance, stolen time. There are no backsies. But that is life. Life is NOTHING like I thought it would be. Life is REVEALING itself TO me; despite the constructs of my mind, of my projections.
Is this even REAL?
Real is that I have NO CONTROL, real is that the ledge is a scary place to teeter on, real is looking into the unknown, real is not a time-line, real is shaky, the real is…NOW.
My heart tells me not to be afraid, because living in fear only breeds fear. My heart says, “you will be fine”, my heart says “you can do the hard things”, and my heart says “you are STRONG”.
I trust my heart. Im not sick…I am healing. It is a process, that has layers; each building on the next. Each door waiting to be unlocked by the hidden key, a level up.
This life contains a menagerie of cycles and patterns. They are here to be SEEN. I am the scientist and the experiment. I am the exhibitionist. I am the student and the teacher. The classroom — in front of my eyes.
As I flip through my journal skimming the pages, my eyes fall on these words written weeks ago. The words that were tucked away until TIME was right.
“Today, I stood, proud of myself. Proud of the woman I have become. Strong to my core. With the ability to shift and to flow. To give myself what I NEED. To listen to my body, to know when I need a place to rest. To know that I don’t have to PUSH IT to the max to prove anything to anyone else. I felt a strength surge through my being. There was no effort to convey. I feel absolutely beautiful, even bald. I feel so confident in the two feet I am standing on. I hope this vulnerability can translate to a soft strength. A key, a peep hole. To encourage other women to be raw. To be REAL. Not to hide.
I am not perfect. And that is perfect. I stand here in the buff. Baring it all, and none of it is perfectly designed. It is messy. It is a process. It is work. I stand here holding on to this moment of pure strength so that I can remember what it feels like when I am fighting in the depths. These moments bring light into the darkness that moves in waves through the days and nights. They spiral together. They dance. They are one in the same.”
Goodnight MOON, you have my HEART, my CYCLES are yours now.
I have spent years on the search for what it means to be FEMALE, for what it means to THRIVE, for what it means to be ALIVE. This path has lead me all over the world, drawn to women and their children, to communities, to SPIRIT, and ultimately BACK to MYSELF. Here I will share my most recent adventure, navigating a diagnosis of triple positive BREAST CANCER and each step of the way I figure out how to be a little more ME. I am Catherine-Ayer Gresham a 30 year old woman