The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I have been told by someone near and dear to my heart that my posts have been somewhat thematically "stuck" for a while now... as in "redundant and whiny." OK. It's hard to be creative and inspired when you are stuck in the middle of an uncomfortable place. Professional writers have a term for this - writer's block. Oh well. Not so much to tell these days that you haven't heard before...

The question is: what to do about it? Try a new topic, then come back to the assignment? Just start writing whatever comes to mind? Do some math homework for a while to get your mind off things? Oops, slipped back into high school English class for a second there. (Didn't work then either.)

The family (and a friend of my daughter) all went to the beach on Sunday. Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda... For many years, the beach has been my "go-to" place when I am working through hard stuff. And this chemo-thing definitely qualifies as one of the hardest things I have ever done. I went to the beach to recover from graduate school and my disappointment with the trials and tribulations of academia. I also went to the beach to recover from the bureaucratic bruising that I received from state government and its ability to crush the energy out of type-A personalities. And now I return (albeit briefly) for a little oceanic restorative treatment during this phase of Ed's cancer world.

I'm not sure what it is, exactly, that the beach does for me. The sounds of waves endlessly marching forward (even in the ebbing of the tide) and seagulls crying, the freshness of the air and its salty tang, the dancing of the sand as the wind blows it into swirls, the froth and splash of water carving sand and rock down to size? To be honest, I wanted to see really BIG waves smashing into headlands - unfortunately, the tide was wrong and we haven't had any good storms to build up the surf. But on this trip I noticed a windblown, gnarled tree growing by itself atop an eroding pile of sand and rock - struggling against the salt air, the absence of sufficient soil, and an overabundance of rain - a survivor. Some of those windblown trees that line the coasts of Oregon and Washington are far older than me, and are barely my height. Truly, an inspiration if ever there was one. And restorative for my soul.

Peace, and warm greetings from the Pacific Northwest.


Anonymous said...

Ed, when you write of the water and its effect on you, I am there with you. Water and light: 2 things we carbon-based folks can't live without. What you said implies the healing effect of water - the sheer amount of it, the way it constantly reinvents itself through waves crashing on the shore, the deep rich color, the way light hits it and changes its hue, the salt air coming from it -- I think all these are healing ingredients. We should take a cruise, huh? :)


Anonymous said...

You have the soul of a poet inside that type A body, Ed. It will get you to places that chemo can't even touch. Keep seeking the sea, the salt and the sun.


Megan said...

When I was an angsty teen and wanted to just get out of my skin for a while I would drive through the curves of PCH North of LA and find a beach somewhere. I'd watch the waves come in and out for hours and feel like I was part of something bigger than myself. It's comforting in some way when things aren't going well to remember that you are part of the bigger picture and that it will all cycle around someday.

Sending the CD soon.. I haven't forgotten!

Hand in there. This too shall pass.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ed: for me, the ocean here in Oregon has been a metaphor for life--sometimes calm, other times so amazingly bright, often stormy and grey, but no matter what, always exciting and beautiful regardless of what it throws at you.

Hmm. I might have to rethink those tsunami things though.... ;)

Good luck this week--sending good karma your way...