a few gifts from having brain cancer                          January — March 2023

Having brain cancer will hone your vibrational frequency,

lower your tolerance for bullshit, and exponentially expand your appreciation for irony.

Brain cancer can make the world become a Cubist painting where you can see all sides at once,

simultaneously aware of what is being said as well as what is not being said;

what is lit up and what is occluded;

the positive and negative spaces intersect and overlap just as an artist sees the world.

Having brain cancer is like pushing the button for automatic prioritization:

you’ll f*** around much less often and hopefully you’ll laugh much more often.

You’ll certainly catch on to the phone scammers much sooner.

Napping in a sunny spot on the couch will suddenly become a great idea —

no wonder some cultures worship cats. No wonder I need to visit my horse.

Having brain cancer will help you identify which people to trust and open to,

and which to avoid or be amused by,

like the woman outside the library who informed me that

scuffing my shoes will eventually damage the shoe.

“Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Madam scuff police,” I muttered.

Having brain cancer might increase the likelihood that

you will go off the rez when asked to fill out yet another medical form.

You might draw a picture instead of supplying the expected word or list of ailments.

You might write a love note to the person who reads the form.

You might bring a smile to their face.

Having brain cancer especially in the frontal lobe might mean you go off the Rez more often.

You may do or say something beyond what is considered normal or expected.

You may get a wild look about you, become a more feral version of yourself.

Don’t be alarmed. Going off the Rez is good practice:

it frees you from what’s considered “normal,”

the view is much better, and there’s much more room to maneuver.

Besides, what’s “normal” anyway?

Growing up in a family considered not normal because of a surplus of physical disabilities

was my “normal.” Operating on a different frequency is now normal for me.

Being an artist and a writer requires that I see the world from a different perspective,

which is hardly ever normal. Out on the fringe, we challengers of normality keep civilization

stirred up, just a little bit off balance, which is required if we are going to move anywhere.

I can see why sensei glioblastoma might’ve chosen me as an eager student

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