The alternative orthodoxy?

new normal

During the summer I was invited to take part in an event, a workshop… I’m not really quite sure what to call it. It’s described as a day to explore how a group of people can support each other as we walk the same path together. How are we connected? Well, we’ve all shared some sort of spiritual crisis that has caused us to look for support, and that’s what we have in common.

I was invited some months ago and I felt that given how isolating and lonely my ‘journey’ has been that this was something I wanted to explore. As I drive to the destination for the day I reflect on the years that have led to this. This ‘path’, although I hesitate to use words like journey and path, the analogy for something that might imply I had some choice in taking this ‘diversion’. The day after diagnosis back in February 2007 I’d fallen into a nightmare.

“I found out that a number of people refer to breast cancer as a journey. Well, yesterday certainly didn’t feel like that, it felt like a nightmare, but the sort of nightmare that would end eventually and I would emerge blinking and things would be ‘normal’ again. But I don’t think there will be normal again.”

I think, back then, that I will rejoin the main road, that this is a diversion… and I suppose I almost do, at times now, have a sense of being back on the main road. The essence of life I wrote about earlier in the summer as I finally – after four years – have a summer – greedy, wanting to ‘snatch’ it, keep it, knowing that it may be temporary. But to enjoy it. Now.

The evening before the event I talk to Ronnie and I wonder if I really want to go. I mean do I want to continue to go  to things that I would only have the opportunity to do because of breast cancer? Or do I want to leave it behind? Continue reading