There’s one thing they tell you when you start a cancer treatment schedule, sitting there in wide-eyed horror and shock. “I know this all seems unthinkable right now, but believe it or not, it will soon just become your routine. Your new normal.” Anyone who has lived through childhood abuse, or been in an abusive relationship will tell you the same. “Well, most of the time he was nice,” they will say, “its just sometimes it got really scary or bad.” There has been reams written about co-dependent behaviours already, both personal and societal. Me? I think mostly its a matter of acclimation. Its the conversation you have about TV on your way to chemo, and the new meals that become routine; creating food the cancer-stricken might possibly eat. It kids playing soccer among the rubble where the bombs just fell. It learning your new wheel chair. Or learning to read in Braille. I say it a lot. “It is what it is.”
There’s a flip side to this too. As my husbands 6’1″ frame dwindled to 130 or less pounds, as his hair fell out? He avoided mirrors like the plague. Its like the restaurant you no longer frequent because its where your ex-girlfriend and her new man hang out. Its like changing the channel every time that commercial comes on, with Sara McLoughlin singing and all the abused animals cover your screen. Its refusing to look at the reality of what homelessness, starvation, or what the ravages of War truly are. Its the pictures of children struck by depleted uranium you never really look at for long. Put even more basically? Its blocking someone on Facebook who has been cruel to you. You compartmentalize the bad away, and let normalcy be created by routine – and you just avoid the damned mirrors.
You see? Mirrors tell the truth. Mirrors belie the little boxes in our psyche that say everything is normal. So we veil them.
I like Chris Hedges. He is what he is. I’m not even remotely insulted he used the cancer analogy as a fresh cancer widow.
What I find particularly offensive after giving it a night of thought? Is Hedged opining how a few kids in black pajamas breaking a window has become an unthinkable Cancer to bringing the Public Sway on board to the “treatment” that Occupy is trying to apply to the REAL CANCERS of our Society. The Cancers that have become both our “normal” and our “mirror avoidance.”