After our oncologist delivered the perplexing news… (not only had Typist’s neutrophil count barely budged, now her platelets were also below an acceptable level to administer more chemo) we waited for a nurse to come remove the port needle. We all hoped for Amy… and Amy it was.
Great article! Thank you for sharing. In Wonderworks by Angus Fletcher I’m reading about literary devices that aid our minds in navigating liminal spaces. (Fletcher doesn’t use that language.) The author says, “The greatest wisdom sees both sides.” I love that!
He also says that literature can fix hearts and lift souls.
There is something called the literary paradox: ice hotter than fire, feathers falling faster than rocks, night outshining the day. “Paradoxes compelling enough to crack open our mind to a simultaneous opposite truth.”
Oh! Thank you for bringing liminal spaces to our thread!
Oh, and I love your elephant!!
I've been hearing a lot about liminal spaces lately. (Must be a new buzz word.) "A liminal space is a space between spaces... a boundary between two points in time, space, or both. It’s the middle ground between two grounds, the mid-structure between two structures. When you’re in a liminal space, you’re neither here nor there, neither this nor that. At the same time, you’re both here and there. Both this and that."
When you receive disappointing news and affirming news in the same moment, your emotions are in liminal space.
But I also believe two things can be true at once. (I think there's a more eloquent way to say this.) You are disheartened about the chemo news AND you are joyful that your books provide meaning to someone you care about.
These experiences are part of what it means to be fully human, Gail. And by sharing your experiences, you allow us to be fully human with you. Thank you.
https://www.psychmechanics.com/liminal-space/#:~:text=A%20liminal%20space%20is%20a%20space%20between%20spaces.,neither%20here%20nor%20there%2C%20neither%20this%20nor%20that. (I didn't read this full article, so I'm not recommending it, just citing the source.)
My daughter's treatments were 3 weeks long. They eould give her a drip then the next week she would start 2 weeks of pills at home. She was supposed to get 6 treatments. After 3 years they gave up trying to get the 6th one in. Her counts just stayed sooo low. They said she would never be able to get chemo again. They didn't think she would survive but it has been almost 25 years and she is still here with me. She would go every week for the blood work and every week they would send her home. About every 5 or 6 months they would be able to get her treatment going. She would get do down in the dumps. She had to be on a special diet which I made sure she followed. She continued to work throughout her treatment. Whe they decided her treatments were done her dad snd I surprised her with as much of the foods she craved but couldn't have. She had to work that night so we pretended it was just a night like any other for her. We carried all the food back into their employee lounge at 2 am when she had her lunch break. She had so much she had to share with her co-workers. She was so surprised. I believe one of the reasons she is still here is to encourage others not to give up. Miracles can happen, prayers are answered. Maybe not always the way we want them to be but they do get answered. So never give up. It might be God is giving you a trial to overcome so you can help someone else. Sorry this is so long. I ramble a lot. I'll be praying next week goes better. Oh and your friendly elephant needs some more friends. Hugs.
Reading todays blog and all of the comments warned my heart. I love the elephant! I like Gary couldn’t see the smudges. I didn’t think I need an eye exam but maybe I should schedule one? I am thinking about bringing the picture of the elephant with me for reference. All I see is your beautiful drawing! Maybe that is just something inside me, always looking for the good in everything. Not avoiding the bad, or rosy colored glasses only but being a person who just finds the weeds as magical as the flowers.
I love the note your friend said about Holy Thursday. You are blessed to have her.
And the Ted Lasso quote made me smile!
What a wonderful elephant you drew! Smudges? Hmmm. No wonder I’m getting an eye exam next week. 🙃
Earlier today you remarked that “surrender” seemed the best way forward. Yes. We humans love control, even when it’s an illusion. As this anachronism and his old jukebox are wont to do, I recalled John Denver’s song, “Sweet Surrender.” Perhaps a theme song for this leg of the journey? Pema Chodrin long ago wrote “Comfortable With Uncertainty.” Part an intro to Buddhist practice and definitions of terminology, and some helpful illustrations of how we might experience various situations. I found it very helpful.
Not intending to seem sacrilegious, a powerful illustration of uncertainty was Jesus calling out from the cross, “Father, father. Why hast thow forsaken me.” Outcomes can certainly dispel uncertainty, but often require walking through it.
Think of us all as elephants! A species with incredible social structure, long memories (you thought I was going to say trunks), and gatherings to share important events.
“World without end.”
I just found out that an old friend of mine is now also dealing with the big C. We never know what is going to happen from one day to the next. This is why we need to just grab onto each day as if it is the last and enjoy what we have in life and the people in it. God always has a plan for us. Love the elephant head!
BUTTON: “Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers.” 😁
But sometimes the answer is right, it’s just the problem was phrased improperly. At some point your problem/answer juxtaposition will be in sync, never fear!
Great work on the elephant. And smudges always go together with charcoal drawings. They can't live without each other for some reason.
Sorry to hear the chemo is being postponed for the moment. I can imagine the blow. But I do love to read how you keep changing your perspective. Cancer treatment is never a straight line and you need to adapt constantly to what happens next. You do it with much grace.
What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter?
What do you call an elephant that can fly?
🐘 😂🤣😂 🐘 😂🤣😂 🐘