Inspiration is a funny thing, a bit like a butterfly that lands on you, you can hardly feel its presence when it lands, but the beauty of the creature and the fact it has landed on you somehow make it special beyond the actual experience.
In the past few days I have been quietly and profoundly inspired by both people I dearly love and know very well, as well as those I have just met or only known a short time. My partner Sadie is a constant joy and my most treasured butterfly, she has kept me both sane and grounded by blending a realistic, factual outlook with the deepest and most tender love a man could ever hope for. You can’t have my Sadie, not a chance, but if it were possible, she should be prescribed to everyone suffering from cancer.
I went to a birthday party yesterday. It was my Tai Chi teacher, Anita’s, party and she was 60, though looking at her its difficult to believe. There were family and friends and it was a really good turn out. Some of the people there knew my condition and even read this blog, the funny thing was I had made up my mind not to go. It’s very difficult to explain why I didn’t want to go, I really wanted to see Anita and the gang but at the same time, suffering with cancer can make you feel sub-human and broken, with a desire to hide yourself away from normal people. Perversely and despite these feelings I decided to go and I’m glad I did.
The things I witnessed at this party made me realise how important human contact is. Anita as a teacher has inspired many people to become active and stay fit or regain fitness and movement where they have lost it. Tai Chi is so much more than learning the movements and sequences, many of the people there had been inspired by Anita and had learned not only the movements but also a little of the spirit of Tai Chi and its philosophy. None of this is explicit, it is just a synthesis of art, form and expression together with bags of personality. This idea grew in my mind as I was watching everyone interact and it suddenly became obvious when Anita performed a fan dance for all of us, the butterfly metaphor and the movement of a butterfly’s wing effecting everything, popping into my head.
I met another blog writer there, Julie, https://hopeaftercancer.wordpress.com/
She has been an inspiration to me while writing these blogs and it wasn’t till I met her yesterday that I really understood how powerful these blogs can be. Turns out she has been inspired by some of the things I have said on these pages. How did Julie inspire me? Hope, a strong sense of hope, that however glum things get, as long as you are alive, you have hope and that it really can translate into wellbeing and health. We of course chatted and exchanged notes on our conditions and how things were going, but like the gentle touch of a butterfly I left feeling a profound sense of hope and that maybe things will be ok.
I guess whenever you go to a family event to celebrate or remember a person, it becomes clear that the connections that go out from that person are wide and varied. Just within my little circle of friends and relatives I know how many people have been shocked and affected by my cancer and almost everyone says, ‘but you look so well?’ It is almost too hard for them to bear at times and I find myself supporting them. If you are suffering from cancer open yourself up to the ripples of energy that come from people who want more than anything for you to feel better and in return make sure that the beats from your wings, that will affect countless others, are good. It’s the least we can do for each other.
My operation to remove my cancer is on Thursday and if everything goes according to plan I will be in intensive care for three or four days before going out to the ward. There probably won’t be any posts for a little while until my brain reboots and comes back on line. In the meantime thank you for reading this, I hope it brightens an otherwise gloomy subject and if you are healthy do everything in your power to stay that way, maybe try alternate day fasting? Whatever you do send a little positive energy my way, I could use it, and I’m here to tell you, it will make a difference.