Portal to darkness

Usually, I see the good in the bad. That’s Pollyanna’s job. But this week, the tables turned and I saw bad come from good. A fews days ago I grabbed a Post-it note and scribbled the following phrase:

Dripping from the source of life and nourishment come visions of pain and degradation beyond imaging.

And so has been my experience of late. My surgery has provided me a window into an ugly world I have never seen in such relief. Through this process—before the surgery and now as I assimilate my experience and tend to my wound—I was granted a glimpse into a world of unspeakable pain and suffering—and I’m not talking about my own.

Like a parted curtain, my incision revealed a chasm of darkness I was previously not ready to see. As I stood naked and shivering on my bathroom floor a week ago, horrid images of torture, enslavement, rape, genital mutilation, degradation, poverty, shame, disempowerment and so much more took form in my mind’s eye. The feelings came in heaving waves, ugly and dark and indistinct but, like my wound, unmistakably real. For just a moment my wound became a metaphoric portal to the realities of our world and I felt the anguish endured by millions of women around the world, past and present.

It changed me. The Pollyanna scales have tipped. I feel older. Wiser. More grounded in reality. I am, and always will be, a tree rooted in goodness. My trunk and limbs are nourished by optimism, strong and growing in the belief that life is good. But this week, I grew so my tallest branches reached high enough to catch sight of an imperfect, flawed world.

Luckily, the ground in which my trunk is rooted is solid and provides me everything I need to stand tall and not waver from what I know to be true.

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