So now I've done 40 days of collages in my little journal. "What next" was the question I posed on one of the three collages I did today. I'm not sure yet about the specifics of what I'll do. Here at the end, I pulled out my watercolor crayons (Neocolor II water soluble Caran d'Ache crayons) and my oil pastels (same brand as the watercolor crayons). I bought them several years ago, when I started my current job. They were on markdown at the campus bookstore, plus I got a discount above and beyond the sale price. I was thrilled with the purchase, so thrilled, I guess, that I thought I needed to put them away and not "waste" them on anything I did! I thought I didn't like them. I thought I couldn't use them. I guess, after nearly 40 days, I got a little freer and a little wilder and a little braver, so I used them.
I've been thinking lately of the October of 2016 I imagined back in October of 2011 when I was first diagnosed with colon cancer. I'd hope to be celebrating five years cancer free. Instead, I've weathered a second attack of colon cancer and breast cancer. Saying it, seeing it here on the screen, I feel like I sound a bit snake bit. That's not at all the way I feel. My prognosis looks good on all counts and I am grateful.
My five year anniversary didn't quite turn out to be the party I'd expected but that's okay. I don't know what might have been. I only know what is, right here, right now. I've been shaped and strengthened in the last five years. Katherine Russell Rich (read the article) said she learned, in times of uncertainty, to ask herself "How are you right now?" She said her answer was, "Fine. Stay right here, in this day, stay right here in your mind." I think that's mostly a pretty good place to be, "right here, in this day."
"What next?" You keep on living, you keep on doing. You don't spend too much time wondering how much time you might have. You put one foot in front of the other, and keep on moving the best you can.
(Yeah, sometimes that's easier said than done, I know.)