Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brave World

by Tony Hoagland

But what about the courage
of the cancer cell
that breaks out from the crowd
it has belonged to all its life

like a housewife erupting
from her line at the grocery store
because she just can't stand
the sameness anymore?

(Excerpted. Read the rest here...)
I was already having a creepy, weepy, pitiful self-indulgent sort of day, and I remembered bookmarking this poem. It almost made me laugh (keyword almost), and gave me a completely new way to look at cancer. Is it like weeds and flowers? Some omnipotent "they" decides one group of cells is good and another group of cells is bad? Can't I at least acknowledge that my cancer cells are industrious and dedicated to their cause?

I was somewhat comforted, then, to read this, an excerpt from another of his poems:

Often we ask ourselves
to make absolute sense
out of what just happens,
and in this way, what we are practicing

is suffering,
which everybody practices,
but strangely few of us
grow graceful in.


Unknown said...

You're allowed whatever kind of day you choose to have. I hope this creepy one passes soon and you find another clever, silly one like yesterday. You made me laugh--and it wasn't an "almost."

La Cootina said...

Thanks, Holly. That's about the only thing that made me feel good all day today!