For survival is found

We looked at the bright box

Lighting reproductions of your brain

You made the inevitable joke

And I wondered how many had

Sat like us, closely squished into single seat

Faux leather gleaming with accumulated sweat

For humor seems solitary solace

When the world goes to hell in a hand basket

Leaving behind folded gloves with bitten tips

Back then I was untrained, in navigating pursing hallways

Pushing wheelchairs, your head horizontal, stapled

Youth’s strength saw us over the sanitized hump

Out into the car park where we ran, loose gowns and trailing bandages

Afterwards felt like climbing out of hell, without traction

Floundering to understand the submersion of health

I told you, even nightmares have to wake up

And with each removed staple, pulled from your sore skull, you found release

Near did I guess, my own oily cavort with sickness

Lay silently sheathed, like store bought bread, just around the corner

I should have worn those pinching purple shoes and danced

You should have run the glow foam 5k and eaten vegan tamales

We should have visited Kavik River Camp in Alaska and climbed jagged cliffs

Tried the new Japanese restaurant with pastel tea lanterns

Wrung out from quick glimpses, thimbles of life

Instead I borrowed on my new found strength

Worked long hours, forgetting to look out the window at passing moon and sun

Putting off tomorrow, building futures without living now

It is our mistake when shown a lesson, not to stop and be mindful

For survival is found in, the smallest moments

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19 thoughts on “For survival is found

  1. Candice,
    I am so sorry for the agony and frustration you are living with. I don’t know what it’s like to have chronic pain and no answers. The imagery in your latest poem,
    “Out into the car park where we ran, loose gowns and trailing bandages
    Afterwards felt like climbing out of hell, without traction”
    shows your suffering.
    And as far as death-with-dignity, you bring up compassionate points to consider the issue. Ultimately, I have to believe in profound free will for my brothers and sisters of the earth, even if the decisions we make are different. But I still have had a difficult time reckoning with the issue, not so much the straightforward and ideal cases, but like you bring up, where it can lead us: not valuing life, eugenics, taking advantage of the elderly, disabled, and mentally ill, death for profit, and other complicated ethical questions that are bound to be raised the more physician-assisted suicide is accepted into society. Journalist Rachel Aviv wrote an excellent, albeit disturbing, article a few years ago about euthanasia. If you have the time I hope you can read it.
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/06/22/the-death-treatment
    I hope healing and peace for you, friend, and I thank you for your openness.

    (This was in response to another post of yours that I don’t see anymore.)

  2. A toast, to the “Thimbles of Life!” To sip after satisfying sip of those tiny moments that fill us, that give us hope, and laughter, and vision, and good memories to warm us on the coldest days. May we learn from children, who live in the moment, who cherish the feeling of joy that bubbles up when they trade walking for skipping, for the breeze in their hair and the sensation of moving fast toward nothing in particular. May we all learn to skip again.

  3. An echo comes, words from Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

    “I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
    Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy’d
    Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those
    That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
    Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
    Vext the dim sea:”

    Drinking life to the lees, which is better, great gulps or sipping and savoring the minute and subtle moments?

  4. Oh those last three lines… we put off living to some future point that may never come. How vitally important it is to cherish the moments we have and not delay our plans for another day. Not to waste even a thimble full!

  5. Wonderfully written! Love the last line which is so heart-touchingly true! During one of my pain inspired writings, I wrote about the concept of moments within moments and compared it to the similar concept of being able to hear or play, notes within notes. Just as musicians listen for those notes, I find looking for moments within moments to be appreciated a new goal. I appreciate your moments here which continue to awemaze us! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

  6. Hindsight is marvellous, isn’t it! Those moments we gaze back and think ‘if only I had known…’ provide us rich learning to remind us to capture future Now Moments xxx

  7. Resonating once again with every line. (And I read your post from yesterday and tried to comment but it disappeared. It was excellent and I agreed with everything. And all the unanswered questions…. the madness of the whole system. We’re trapped in a healthcare system that isn’t working.
    Love and blessings to you 💓💓💓

  8. These lines apply to us all, Candice: “Instead I borrowed on my new found strength

    Worked long hours, forgetting to look out the window at passing moon and sun

    Putting off tomorrow, building futures without living now

    It is our mistake when shown a lesson, not to stop and be mindful

    For survival is found in, the smallest moments”.

    May you have enough healthy years to catch up

  9. I’m sorry for what your going through this ordeal of chronic pain.
    I can’t imagined the pain that’s frustrating and you just want a medicine that can cure it.

    Powerful poem and everything about your words are moving and heartfelt.

  10. I will heal. I will get better. You are right, I just want to see a little improvement, I’m so READY for that. I have never been sick before so this has been HARD but I still feel lucky compared to some people’s experiences. Thank you dear one

  11. Oh thank you so much Derrick. I love your wish for me. I am very grateful. I do admit I wish the same for myself! And for others. Thank you, for sticking by me during this and being such a good friend

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