Finding My Way To Mariana

Surfing is not a team sport. Sure, you can have surfing teams, but ultimately, surfing is the sport of you and nature, tangled up together, limbs intertwined, riding on top of and against and through each other. Out in the sea, encapsulated in the grandeur of tidal pulls and gravity and water and earth, your ears are full of the the whole of creation roaring at you, perched and ready to strike. You tether your sliver of control to your ankle and attempt to find your god in your absolute mortality. It's a solo endeavor, finding your rhythm in time with nature, learning that you'll only dominate once you surrender, realizing that your power is completely perceived and contingent on your willingness to let that same power completely go. You ride the wave, the wave rides you.

It was September 20th, mid afternoon, when they told me they were going to have to take my uterus.

Every morning since, I have woken up, waxed my board, strapped it to my foot and walked headfirst and alone into this swell. My team paddles alongside me, but inside the tube it is me and my mutilation, pitted singularly against each other, timing a collapse against an escape in defiance of gravity along-side sanity within the swell of the natural order of things.

I do not know how to navigate through this, and so I choose most days to ebb out with the water, thoughtlessly allowing me, myself and this to drift lazily out to sea. When I try to speak of this, the waves come crashing down around me faster than I can navigate through them. They constrict with each undulation until I am drunken and suffocating inside an impossible tunnel.

Everything holding the core of me in place disintegrated. I am no longer able to create life.

It is hard, surrendering to this. I don't want this, and I don't know how to talk about this. I know how to mock this, to be sure, but I don't know how to honestly say that I cannot handle what just happened to me any more than I knew how to say I couldn't handle what was about to happen to me. And so I don't talk about it, except in very specific terms.  I am healing fine and I can start washing dishes in a few days and driving in a few weeks and maybe by Christmas, I'll be able to give my husband a "present". I listen to the advice I am given and I accept all the support I am offered and I tuck all of that away in my pocket for the time I know that I'll be able to unwrap it and use it and I continue ramming my head into this thing alone, because I don't know how else to do it.

I keep riding this wave, it keeps riding me.

I dream of tiny fingers wrapped around thumbs, of suckling and sleeping, of the things I thought I decided years ago I didn't want anymore. I'm jolted awake in the mornings by the reality of stitching that spans the height and breadth and depth of everything I used to need to make that dream come true, everything that has been carefully reconstructed with biological mesh and re-purposed ligaments and tethered expanses of skin and muscle.

I am the accumulation of 35 years of surface friction, mounting itself over and over again until at last, the base could hold me no longer and it broke against itself.

This wave of mutilation is still roaring around me, blocking sun and sound and earth and heaven, and I am tethered to the sliver of control I've convinced myself I still have left. I am trying to let this go, to rest upon the foundation that was surgically implanted into my body ten days ago and stay ahead of the wave that wants to come crashing down on me. I am reconciling the singular mortality I was forced to face against the three embodiments of my immortality that greet me each morning, and I am riding the wave.

And it is riding me.