Saturday, January 28, 2017

fifty/fifty skies, vulcano zen towers, and a wishbone compass

The first island day. Dozens of thoughts from the days before leaving still crossing my still-tired mind. I walk to the lighthouse, thinking the walk will be just that: a walk along the ocean shore, a walk along waves. It just takes a minute to learn that I am wrong: tears gather, and start to fall, before I even understand:

This walk. The first time I walked here like that, that was November 2014. Just some weeks after my diagnosis, and in fact just a week after the docs told me that what first looked like a minor-risk-tumor was in fact a 50:50 risk-tumor. And that they were sorry, and recommended chemotherapy. I guess back then, I didn't fully realize what their message implied. Or maybe a part of me did, but focused on the matters at hand: the logistics of chemo, and the journey that we after all wouldn't have to cancel, as I still needed some healing time before entering the next steps. So we came here, and walked along the ocean, gazed at that larger horizon, and tried not to think too much about those larger questions: would I walk here again?

Now we are here again. I don't have the words yet for all the emotions and thoughts that rose yesterday. But this morning, I came across a poem that felt just right. I still start my days with poetry. not with news, not with weather, not with messages. but with the "spinning poetry" generator of Poetry Foundation, and the lines it brings.

So here it is, brought along by the combination of "Gratitude" and "Life":


An island is one great eye
    gazing out, a beckoning lighthouse,
searchlight, a wishbone compass,
    or counterweight to the stars...

When it comes to outlook & point
    of view, a figure stands on a rocky ledge
peering out toward an archipelago
    of glass on the mainland, a seagull’s
wings touching the tip of a high wave...

(the full poem is online here: islands by Yusef Komunyakaa)

and one more sky: zen towers at Los Hervideros, standing between ocean and the vulcanoe fields, like tiny temples.

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