I almost walked past the alley door without reading the tattered scrap of paper duct-taped to the glass. I’d been blitzing my mind with grim thoughts of betrayal and abandonment. I’m not sure why I stopped walking – call it karma – and read this: Karma. One way or another, will leave us to face ourselves. We can look our karma in the eye, or we can wait for it to sneak up behind us.
I wish I could tell you that I immediately looked past my ruminations, and saw the soft golden late afternoon light and a gang of teen-agers in full zombie gear and the tip of the mountain beyond the downtown buildings. I did pull a notebook out of my pack and write the words down. Today, at least ten years later, I’m battling fear again. When the local hospital did an MRI six weeks ago to see if the low sodium collapse had caused brain damage, they found a nodule in my thyroid. I had a biopsy last week. I’m waiting to hear the results. I suspect that some of you know how that waiting feels like any other obsession.
A few days ago when I was out walking, I saw these flowers and photographed them. Instead of filling my delicate mind today with horrifying fantasies of a dread future, I come here to Breakthroughwriting, to write you and to partake of the strongest medicine I know: writing. Writing is my karma, That which repeats again and again in your life., as Marion Zimmer Bradly wrote in The Mists of Avalon. There is writing, and being afraid of being in the hands of the medical profession, and being afraid of death. Today I choose writing.
I look at the picture of the flowers and I imagine a terrified little girl finding them. She crouches to look at them closely and wonders what they are named. She wonders if they contain real pearls. She finds herself trying to think of the exact word to describe the color of the petals. And she realizes she is no longer afraid.
It’s your turn: Stand with your karma, your fate, the consequences of your choices. Write us what happens when you stop running. (Don’t write me to ask the results of the biopsy. Use that time to write from your life. I’m sure I’ll let you all know next week. p.s. As I was finishing writing this week’s breakthrough, my phone rang. I looked at the screen. It was a scam call. I’ve always suspected that George Carlin was my Higher Power. Now, I know.