Monday, September 30, 2013


This morning, before the sun fully rose, Chloe burst into my room to wake me up for our bi-weekly run. She badgered me as she always does encouraging me, not so gently, to move faster, she wanted to go. Because I was a little more responsive today, we got out of the house earlier than usual, allowing us to experience fog laying low to greet the early risers. Fog is a funny thing. Many people fear it. It makes things hard to see. It evokes our fear of uncertainty of what lay ahead. But as we ran, we noticed something beautiful. Webs, everywhere. Each cactus, tree, bush, flower was intricately decorated with at least one perfectly attached spider web. Something usually unseen by the passerby, the fog made these miracles of nature visible.

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor just to have a general check up, just out of curiosity. As I have been extremely healthy my whole life, I assumed I would receive gleaming results as always. When she told me I had an infection in my cervix,I was surprised but felt reassured by the antibiotic she gave me. When I went back last Friday for my follow up check up, my doctor discovered that laying beneath the infection was something worse. Something she showed me pictures of, pointing out all of the problems, something she recommended surgery for. My immune system was down she explained, it was not protecting me as it should.

In mid august my boss was testing Ramon and me on our knowledge of different dance steps. When it was feedback time, she took a deep breath and said, "Tara, I am seeing something in your leading that needs work." She explained to me that when I lead turns and a variety of other steps, I over extend my arms away from my center, inhibiting my power and communication to my partner. In the same week, while practicing martial arts, Ramon continued to tell me that I was doing essentially the same thing. He kept explaining how important it was for me to keep my center in tact, making sure not to reach for my partner. I often analyze my students' physicality as a sign of their personal tendencies. Women with a tight grip are the most controlling. Men with spaghetti arms are self absorbed. People unable to open their chests are protecting themselves. The list goes on. So I thought about what my physicality said about me. Over-reaching. Giving away my power. Extending too far from my core. Do these traits apply to my personality, my relationships, my life? Absolutely. A fact that, last week, was blatantly pointed out to me by the people I love most. But none of their talking had any visceral effect until I got that news on Friday, that news that at the age of 25, my formerly healthy body had developed a pre-cancerous issue. That's when I started to understand.

As I ran today, after one of the most joyful and relaxing weekends I have had in a long time, I reflected on this. On the physical manifestation of one's spiritual limitations. On how some beautiful things are only visible in the eerie presence of fog. How this scary and unexpected event in my life, forced me to rethink my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. How for the first time in a year, I feel like the weight has lifted. I am on the road to recovery, and I am happy to be there. Grateful for my family and my job and my friendship. And even grateful for the fog.

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