One week ago today, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. She watched a few days earlier as the doctor performed her routine colonoscopy and found a whopper of a mass; 33 mm in size. Did you know you could watch your own colonoscopy? I sure didn’t, though it didn’t surprise me that she chose this option as she is Full Curiosity with a degree in biology. The closest I come to this is the hand mirror the dentist gives me to watch what’s happening in my mouth, which is the origin of the anus so maybe it all makes cyclical sense. We thought the cancer hadn’t spread but found out yesterday there are “suspicious” spots on her liver, thus instead of having surgery she is on her way to an MRI, biopsy, and possibly a few months of chemotherapy.
Before her appointment at the cancer center, I took her down the hall to walk through the Chihuly sanctuary. We rounded the curve into the mini labyrinth of glass with overlaid audio of insects and their orchestral stridulating. Mom thought it was the sound of the undersea, and our perceptions affect our reality.
Each nodule of the sanctuary was calming, even if the aesthetic was contrived, except for the last loop where glass art hung where windows should be, and an abandoned water bottle and discarded tissue caused mom to go “Ewww.” The pinched tissue could’ve been a ceramic sculpture of a dropped blossom, but its budding protrusion was likely glued together by snot and sadness.
“Ewww” I concurred.
“This is my least favorite place in here,” my mom said as she left the ewww loop.
“Mine too,” I said.
But not because of the detritus of other visitors so much as the detritus of memory. That was the same spot, on July 31, 2019, where Kali and I took a selfie after her MRI and before her appointment. She passed of triple-negative breast cancer one year and two months later.
How do you unravel what happened from what will be?
How do you disentangle memories from what is happening?
I took a photo of the sculptures in the outdoor garden of rock that ringed the sanctuary. Glass on rock is such a pronoia-ic threat of entropy, for given enough time Rock will become Sand, and given the right hand, Sand will become Glass. When I viewed the photo last night, there was my reflection, emanating a stoically calm energy. Maybe that is Future Me and it is time to rewrite my memories. Because if Time was truly linear and if Memory was truly binary, then how can I harbor so many Multiple Futures and Competing Feelings at once?
Quantum memory begins with the neuron and kicks the classic to the curb. And now instead of reading about cancer, all I want to do is read the Centre for Time's Experimental Philosophy
so beautiful and heart-provoking... this line made me gasp - "Because if Time was truly linear and if Memory was truly binary, then how can I harbor so many Multiple Futures and Competing Feelings at once?"
thank you for teaching me about pronoia. sending you so many hugs 💓
I am so glad that you have your astounding gift of expression. Your writing will help both you and your mom get through this journey together.