lately i’ve started reading again. really. with small incremental exceptions, it’s been years since i’ve put down one book and started the next and onward from there. i used to be a voracious reader. whenever i get really busy coupled with getting older and needing to focus on whatever is making me busy, i tend to push comprehensive reading away. now bring into the picture that 5 1/2 years ago i was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and you will understand my that my tendencies became deep ingrained exercises in ignoring the big book read. i couldn’t bring myself to concentrate when all i wanted to do was get through the hours and days. i distracted myself with tv – the more forgetful the better – and games of bubblet on my itouch. and those bubblet games took hold. 5 1/2 years later, you’ll find me on the subway or waiting in a doctor’s office or any waiting scenario and i’ll pull out my itouch and start tapping …i self-soothe – getting lost in the puzzles that are never the same way twice but always let me get through minutes…sometimes hours…of time where i cannot concentrate on anyone else’s stories. lately, i’ve been trying to make myself read on the subway. i promise myself that i will read one chapter before pulling out what my husband has nicknamed ‘the tapper’. sometimes, i cannot concentrate and find myself reading the same lines over and over – but it’s all in the practice and i make myself move through it. after-effects of chemo and tamoxifen combined with middle age and menopause do not make for easy concentration. the bubbles on my tapper let my mind go mercifully blank and quiet. i play a bit before i go to bed each night…letting my mind go still before knowing that i’m ready to fall asleep – otherwise i stay up late into the night with worst-case scenarios playing over and over in a loop. now what i have to work on is reading each chapter and bringing it inside myself knowing that the tapper can be left aside. it’s like teaching a little kid to stop sucking her thumb. her thumb. my tapper.
a marker post. just like i feel that the last few weeks have been marker weeks. marking the days until there was true spring in the air. brooklyn has slogged through so much winter and then cold early-spring that it felt that it would never ever come. but now, daffodils are peaking out and our flowering cherry looks like it will finally burst … and with each pink and white burst my sad lumpy sodden spirits will rise to the promise of spring. and i said i didn’t like pink. pink for cancer…not so much. pink for the promise of spring? turns out, context is everything!