May 14, 2008

peaks at the past

I bought mascara the other day. It was a peak experience.
My eyes, the brow above, and the billiard ball above that, have been hair challenged - and have won the fight. My head is now filled with a new kind of hair - soft and fine like a newborn's.
And so I am, in a way.

Sometimes life shows you what's what.

In a moment of doubt, in a moment when life shakes off your yellowing veneer, you look back on the path you've been on and see it more clearly than you thought possible.

The stuff you'd rather not remember, the parts of you you're not so crazy about, the parts that warm you through with light and love too - no one's immune from that spectrum - it's in all of us.

When your face is held to the prism of your life you really do hope for the best don't you? You don't want to say the line Shirley Valentine gulped out to the camera, "I've led such a little life." - I saw that movie just when I should - as I entered adulthood - and it scared the shit out of me. I remember turning thirty and clinking glasses with a friend daring each other to make it the best decade of our lives so far...

and it was...

and I plan to beat it.

I traveled. And traveled.

I stood on mountains, and under oceans, in jungles and in deserts.

I gave in to my need to write and fell in love with the writer.

I forgave myself my faults – and continue to everyday.

I fell in love. And listened to my instinct, my rock, when it said firmly and quietly, “Yes.”

Which means I married him.

And I’m now in the legion of people who have survived cancer. So far.

Talk about your peak experiences.

In my moments of doubt, when the concept of cancer being in my body at the age of 44 scares me blind, I look back at what I’ve done. And I smile with relief. It’s been hard and amazing and I’m not done yet. I’d be so depressed if what I looked back on was so little…although maybe it would kick me right in the ambition.

I’m more sensitive to beauty, peace, and wanting to do what I want to do. My ambitions have changed. I’m not going to climb Everest – but I’m going to try and convince Steve we have to stand at Everest base camp. I’ve been to Annapurna’s base camp – and it was a peak experience. And so…I’m not done yet.

That said, my perceptions are alive to now. I couldn’t be happier than to be through this valley as spring gushes up around us. And this week we had local asparagus. Life is sweet.