It's about 5:30 on Sunday morning. Pitch black out, the halls are deep-sleep silent. The only noise is the low murmur of nurses working on the endless charting, tracking and organizing of keeping their charges cared for and on schedule. It's a nice time of day, hospital light is harsh, designed to light all the corners, illuminate the skin and reveal ones every flaw. At this hour, it seems dialed down, less intrusive and more embracing of the general qualities we want light to have.
Light ought bring shape to objects and environment, enhance our perception of where we are, clarify distance, depth, location, mystery, color and beauty to our world. Well, that's not hospital light- but at this hour it as close as it gets. And, it's still a great time to be up, the pace is different, night energy still prevails and the newly showered and freshly caffeined haven't come on the floor yet.
At this point I'm moon faced and swimming in double and triple chins. I hate this part. My vanity is close to full implosion. Seems that one doesn't do this without giving up all dignity about their person. Talking with young women, my children's age about my worn down and now curiously sick body and the side effects of the chemistry that runs through me. It's a conscious leap to give yourself over to a highly trained "almost" stranger.
It's better in my mind to give yourself over to the process than the disease, however.
If it's the disease you surrender to, than in some way you become the disease. If it's the more "organic" process you surrender to, you allow yourself to move freely in acceptance and curiosity, the subtle and not so subtle changes that are happening. Process allows us to deal with possibilities, potential and the fluidity of change, most expected and some unanticipated. It is like water over rocks, alternately smooth, rough, always continuous, seeking little gaps, creating others, but always changing the face of its environment. Subtle, continuous, altering , alive, never still. If we embrace the organic idea of process than we embrace our humanness, creativity, aliveness, love and will to be part of something, even an ugly thing. We are not in dis-ease.
However, as Monday gets closer and my fears rise and my will bends ever so slightly, it's these ideas that help propel me toward the light, not the darkness. My fear is never far away, it lurks just below the larger and more restive and life giving ideas of loving and being loved with kindness and curiosity and acceptance and empathy.
It has been said that the human mission in this life is to find out who we are and why we're here. And I think some answers are found only in the harsh light of our dis-ease, too bright, unforgiving and illuminating to ignore.
I never would have had the opportunity to skip along the surface of this question without being here in this place with my dis-ease with the light of a new day filling the shadows and opening the eyes of this place for another day.