To walk on them is to feel like I’m sloshing around in watersoaked tennis shoes. But my feet aren’t wet.
The nurse today reminds me that this will all probably fade after a few months following chemo. But it may get much worse first. And it may just stay this way for the rest of my life.
What price would you put on full feeling in your hands and feet? What price not to have this weird and wearying sensation of numbness that is becoming my new normal? That may be my new normal? What the price of insurance against cancer recurrence?
In midst of this numbness I feel. I feel such freedom, such unbounded inexplicable life in this journey from tomb to resurrection, tomb to resurrection, tomb to resurrection, now for the tenth time repeated. I have hated it. I have needed it. And while I will celebrate its end, I will surely mourn its passing. Formative days. The most formative days.
Do I want to be released of all physical reminders in me of this journey?
Do I want my personal stigmata erased except on the walls of my mind?
“I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”
I see Paul reaching around and feeling the marks interlaced on his back from his repeated whippings and beatings. Priceless reminders. Indeliable. Uneraseable. Would he have had it any other way? Would he have accepted the healing – a restoration of unviolated skin? Fresh, unstigmatized flesh?
When I started, I wept at the chemo port I felt was a violation under my skin. One more scar over an unwelcome intruder. Filled with the impulse, the nagging insistent compulsion to see it and all signs of this invasion gone. Compulsion for normalcy, a resetting of life, a forgetting that any of this had happened.
What if I need this numbness as an enduring mark reminding me that it is the price of feeling?
What if I need to keep this port and put up with monthly flushings to keep it functional so I can remember with each touch that more was accessed than my heart, but my soul?
What if these are the wounds through which he would bring his healing to others? to me?
What if in feeling the lump of this port, what if in the touch of these numb fingers he would awaken long benumbed souls? Starting with mine?
Embracing the wounds, the marks.
Just what might he awaken through these sleepy fingers?