Fin in a Waste of Waters

"These moments of escape are not to be despised. They come too seldom....Leaning over this parapet I see far out a waste of water. A fin turns....I note under 'F.,' therefore, 'Fin in a waste of waters.' I, who am perpetually making notes in the margin of my mind for some final statement, make this mark, waiting for some winter's evening." (from Woolf's THE WAVES)

18 July 2006

Something meaningful

A few words of introduction. Beginning this blog, I thought about the last time I did any online journaling. The first time was during my sophomore year of college, a pink "Diaryland" account, young & frivilous. The second, my junior year, "Livejournal," increasingly (unconsciously) despairing as I became increasingly sicker with the tumor, until my surgery, when the descent suddenly reversed, becoming a steady climb. The Livejournal became a record of my progress, of recovery. My bedroom was on the second story of the house; the computer, downstairs. In the beginning, when no one was looking, I used to shuffle on my bottom down the stairs (I wasn't allowed to dare the stairs yet) to the computer, turn it on, log into my account, and write about the thoughts that had occured to me as I laid on my bed smelling the summer tree-smells that came through my window (my mother always used to ask, "How are you doing? Are you dozing?" "I'm thinking," I always answered), then turn off the computer so no one would know I had been there, and then crawl back up the stairs and get back into my bed or the chair in the living room. Then, they became entries about walks outside in the yard; then, about excursions for ice cream, and once, terrifyingly, the first movie I saw in the theatre post-surgery, and then about fireworks over Green Lake on the Fourth of July, and about my first Fulbright application, Dorothy Parker, and my senior honors English thesis (Jane Austen and Susanna Rowson's transatlantic discourse of gendered space). And then. The last entry. The day of my second MRI after the surgery, taken after most of the swelling had gone down, taken at the end of the summer, just before my senior year. The MRI to determine if the doctor had successfully removed all of the tumor. And. He had. I wrote about it, and ended the journal there, feeling it appropriate to end what had become "the brain surgery diaries" with this last, most important, triumph.

And I thought that this would be the triumph to end all the troubles. I honestly believed that after the surgery, I could go back to being the "normal" girl I used to be, the pink-template, "bubbly" Diaryland girl, that I could go back to talking about "normal" (easier at the time than so many other things) things like boys, magazines, my birthday party nearly a year away (one of my favorite things to daydream about, that birthday, in the first couple of weeks right after surgery). But after a year of intensely obsessive-living ("work hard, play hard"; "go balls out"), attempting to "make up" for the year that I had "wasted" being so sick, attempting to live as intensely as possible, I've learned that after spending so much time out of reality, severed from it by the seizures which heralded the tumor and that have now returned to plague me, and that after being confronted with mortality, there is no return to "normal." But, instead of obsessive living, there is living deliberately.

I don't mean to leave you with a moral, though. Just an attempt at an explanation of my life. I still struggle with "obsessive." I still sometimes live like I dance - never sitting one out, and living 'til my hands shake with nervous-manic energy. So here is the process with which I open this new blog.

Many stories and thoughts to come.


At 4:06 AM, Anonymous cheryl said...

ilove it. more please!

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Holly said...

Reading what you write is like sitting in the same room talking with you. I can see you so clearly; how your face changes when the topic turns to something you feel strongly about. I'm so glad you're are doing this. Selfishly, it makes me feel a bit more connected to you. Cannot wait to see you and give you a hug. You are one of the wisest people I've ever met.


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