Plunging into Green Lake at the Poetry Polar Bear Club!
WOW! What a fabulous event! Each person read their poem, and took a giant stride closer to the lake, and PLUUUUNGED in! That's me in the middle in the brown and sepia bikini (BRRRRRR), photographed by Eowyn! She and Coco were my fan club! A chap from the Seattle Times afterwards asked me my name, as I had stayed in the longest!!! Eowyn and Coco painted polar bears, giraffes and rainbows on my skin, and I added the words of my poem. Each person's poetry adorned their skin or swimming cossie. Here's my poem, written walking around Green Lake before work (3 miles, one of Seattle's favourite and most beautiful pastimes - I'll take you next time you're here!!)
i'm hot i'm cold afraid and bold complete with holes icy warm poles
Today, I am sitting on the hardwood floor, in our lounge room. My body feels pretty normal. My neck aches a little, my tummy is full of dinner, my mouth tastes nicely, of the drink I just gulped. I am weary from a day of work, and the transition of coming home to my beautiful, energetic, noisy children. Benjamin is cycling home in the darkness. I am always happier when everyone is safely home. My biggest fear is one of my loved ones dying.
Oh, and I have lymphoma, stage four. What does this even mean? I'm just me. Mortal, but that is in the one-day-far-away category, isn't it? The doctor, bizarrely, told me there are a lot of little lymphomae, tripping around my lymph system, like jiggling jelly-fish in a warm sea. Some of them have twisted all together, left of my belly-button, and I can feel them. An 8cm x 5cm mobile mass, says the computerised tomography report. I can feel lumps in my neck and groin, and can imagine these funny little lymphomae, dancing around w…
Yet, as a wealthy Westerner, can I EVER really walk in her shoes? I had 3 days off over the last 7 days. On one of them, my ten thousand steps involved ambling southwards with Benjamin along the Withywindle in the morning, and northwards with Bens, Eowyn, Coco, Mateja and Maia in the afternoon. On another of my days off, I wandered through the forest to Seren and Jonathan's, and then walked with them at a leisurely pace. Yesterday, I walked along lovely trails and through Princes' Park to a tranquil Taize meditation on Jesus' death and resurrection. My line in the liturgy was 'Can we enter with Jesus into his pain? Can we enter with others into their pain? Can I embrace my own pain?'
I remember my first day in Kirema, Uganda, Mrs Sewagoma dancing along the path, smiling and talking with me and laughing. It all seemed so amazing, this new place, the lush, green tropical beauty. I tried to imagine what it must be like to b…