Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Trapeze

On Monday, my dad had a spot on in his throat tested for cancer. The spot showed up in one of his scans and the procedure was a completely "just to be safe" procedure. However, with knots in my stomach, I waited the early part of the day to hear the results. Is this what life is like after cancer rearing its ugly head? A whole bunch of waiting? By afternoon, my mom and I received a call at home from dad saying that no disease had been found. Wow, another bullet dodged. When the phone rang I was snuggled up in a comfy chair in the living room losing myself in another poorly written novel that I so frequently find myself indulging in. I love good books, I like average books, but mostly I just love escaping in ANY book. :)

Okay, so if you had told me a year ago that my dad would be going in to have a "spot" in his throat checked for cancer after enduring two surgeries to rid his body of melanoma, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me a year ago that I would be not only sitting and reading in my childhood home when we got the good news, but actually living under my parents' roof at the ripe old age of 29, I would have thought you were crazy. Likewise, if you would have told me almost three years ago that the man I loved, my husband, would be picking up and leaving, kicking me out of the home I loved and getting another woman pregnant.....well I probably would have thought you had gone off your "meds".

My point is, nobody can really warn you of the changes that come with this crazy thing called life and even if they did, you would most likely turn the other cheek and not heed the warning. Let's face it, the prediction of things to come in life is about as reliable as a man keeping the toilet seat down in the bathroom; I wouldn't put money on it. So what does this mean for us? For human kind and for those who really like to know what is just around the corner? It means, we must learn to live in limbo.

Years ago my mother gave me an inspirational reading called "The Fear of Transformation", which was an expert from a book by Danaan Parry. I honestly don't remember what the occasion was. A broken heart, a tough time in college, a troubled friendship? The timing or the reason doesn't really hold relevance, but I've always been someone who has feared change. The passage used a trapeze as a metaphor for life; swinging between one bar or another and the space between is where you really transform your life (blah, blah, blah). Basically it was another polite, decently written way to say that life sometimes sucks so enjoy the ride! I can vividly remember reading it, taking it in and thinking it was kind of a crock of shit. I didn't (and sometimes still don't) want to "transform" and I would love a life where I just swung contently on one trapeze bar for eternity.

As a young woman, nothing I was going through could have compared to divorce, abandonement, lay-offs, heart break, death and cancer. Unfortunately, growing up involves enduring real tragedy and that is why I took a second look at the reading tonight. God bless the internet for tracking it down and God bless my mom for having the foresight that these words might mean more to me someday than they did when she first slid the paper across the kitchen counter in my direction. The full text is below if you care to check it out.

What I've learned is that all of life's real tragedy and triumph happen in the so called "void" between bars on the trapeze. Nothing is actually gained or conquered on the bar!! Ok, unless you mean a great Coyote Ugly impression on an actually bar at a bar after one too many cocktails. :) Life thrives in the void; in the space between 'then' and 'there', and if we don't embrace that flight then we have missed all that life has to offer. Is a new bar coming my way someday? Sure. Is there light at the end of everyone's tunnel? Absolutely. But in the tunnel is where some of the best thinking, loving, changing and happiness occurs. I say, get strong in the void so that when that next bar swings your way you have the bicep strength to hold on. Of couse, inevidibly, there will always be another moment of mid-flight to enjoy.