Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Killing Ink Cartridges and Trees
I did something crazy the other night. I stood next to my desk and fed innumerable sheets of paper into my printer. I put in a chunk about half an inch thick, the maximum amount my printer can handle. Then I did it again. And again. And again. Finally it stopped. When I flipped over the mass of pages the words that stared back at me were these: NO WORDS
Way back in May (I had to check to find that out- I could have sworn it was June or July) I wrote a post titled Write it Out. That post was a promise to myself to go back into the stories I'd written in the years before and finish my cancer memoir. Despite a busy summer full of tutoring and trips, I did find some time to revisit all those word documents. I picked up where I left off and I tried my best to fill the gap between the end of treatment and when I finally felt whole again. I thought about it a lot and I decided that point was when I stopped keeping my cancer a secret, which happened when I won the Lilly Oncology on Canvas competition a year ago.
I'm still ambivalent about what I want to do with this hundred-plus page document, but a request was made for a copy to read, so I printed it. I intended to pack it up in a big envelope and mail it away, but it's been sitting on my desk for almost a week and I kind of want to read it myself.
After I finally do read it, I'll address it to someone who met me in the middle of treatment. I say I am sending it to her because she asked, but I don't think I'd let just anyone read it. She is the fourth grade teacher I was randomly assigned to work with during my last semester of college. She was my student-teaching mentor and I can only imagine what she thought when I told her the first time I met her that I not only had cancer but was planning on student teaching while doing chemo. But she welcomed me into her classroom, taught me a lot, and along the way we forged a relationship that went beyond professional duty and have met for three hour catch-up lunches each summer since we worked together.
So when she asked to read it at our most recent lunch, I knew I had to print it out. Eventually I'll send it to her, and I hope she approves.
Hope, Love, Run,
Posted by Juli at 8:55 PM