“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”
~ H.P. Lovecraft, Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
A small family cluster of us sat endlessly in the waiting room of a cancer clinic yesterday.
It was a busy place, at a busy hospital. On the way to the clinic, we’d passed a young woman who had lost her eye, a man in a wheelchair missing a foot, a series of shuffling and shambling patients of various ages.
There were hosts of worried relatives in thrown-together outfits, looking careworn and in need of coffee and a hug.
The waiting room was packed. We found seats underneath a television screen we could not see. But I listened to the running commentary.
The irony was not lost on me. Television spruikers talked about the importance of skin care and maintaining our youthful appearance. Life was better with young skin. You would be more popular, and get better jobs. You could look like a movie star. Then there was a miracle exercise machine to effortlessly melt fat. It came with complimentary mineral makeup. Call now!
How truly offensive it was, listening to these paid presenters playing to our insecurities. Deprived of the pictures, the commentary took on a lewd ignorance.
Here I was, surrounded by people fighting for their lives.
For some, the fight isn’t going well. For some, the fight will be lost.
People bald from chemo, their skin fragile, bruised and thin, their faces bloated and round or gaunt and pale, looked away from the screen. I saw beauty in every single one. I witnessed the most tender exchanges of love and care. I saw how valued and precious each person was to their family and friends.
You are beautiful. Life is beautiful. This endless quest for youth and physical perfection is the ugly thing.
Hug your loved ones today. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the people around you. Don’t buy into that garbage on television and the media. What’s inside you will always matter more that big hair, white teeth or a perfect hip-thigh ratio.
I love you. Right now. Just as you are.
Nicole <3 xoxo