i am awake


i rarely remember my dreams.  i have memories in childhood of dreams that repeated (this looks like camp but I don’t remember this road) and a few nightmares.  but, mostly, the night passes for me and i wake with no bits and pieces of whatever adventure i found myself romping through in my sleep.  this morning, however, i woke with distinct memories of a piece of a dream.  and not a pleasant one at that.  i don’t remember a lot of it but i do remember that i was talking to some people and somehow i noticed that huge patches of my scalp were showing through.  not thin hair (something I deal with now since post-chemo and enforced menopause combined to make anything resembling luxurious and thick on top of my head a bit of an uphill challenge) but i remember noticing that there was a patch with no hair on it – hey, i remember the curve of my head from the bald days – and then i noticed that there were 3 or 4 really big sections with no hair on them.  it looked pretty odd because there was long shoulder-length hair and then a section with the curve of my skull.  i didn’t freak out (in my dream) but started walking around saying to myself that i really should find my wig…where had i put it when i finally put it away at the end of my treatments (it actually took me about 8 months to pack it away and let it be put downstairs).  i had a love-hate thing going with that wig but that’s a big ‘secular-jewish feminist lives in orthodox jewish neighborhood’ blog post for another day.

i think this comes from a few worries.  the second because i know that when i finished radiation, i had squirreled away a bunch (easily 10) of some very expensive gel sheets used for burn victims.  they had truly saved my life during the last few weeks of radiation and i wanted to give some of them to a friend about to go through it also.  but we couldn’t find them in the basement.  looked and looked but not to be found.  even though i’m sure they were put in a box somewhere with other medication that pulled me through the worst of it.

the 1st is that i bought a stunning professional photograph a while back that i just had framed and hung.  i love all things asian – especially southeast asian – and one of the photographs is of a Cambodian nun…she’s pretty darned old and very wrinkled…the photograph of her face fills up the entire frame…and she’s bald.  she staring right into the lens and she (according to the writeup that came with it from the photographer) willingly shaved her head and eyebrows as part of her vows.  when i first saw the photograph in the gallery i thought that she and i should spend a lot of time looking at each other.  that i would learn something from her.  nothing religious but something about humanity.  

i have no conculsion here.  i just find myself looking into the mirror more often.  can we ever be reassured?   can we ever feel reassured?


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