As many of you know, I recently had surgery to have my left kidney removed. This is my third week since surgery and I'm starting to feel moderately human again. Mostly, lately, I've been dealing with the mental part. The kidney had to go because there was a cancerous tumor growing on it. The doctors were hoping to save part of it, but the tumor had wrapped itself around too many things. The only way to be cancer-free was to remove the whole thing. Since I first learned about the tumor in early February, I've been trying to find creative ways to deal with this. While it's certainly not as overwhelming as other cancer diagnosis', it's still overwhelming at times. Initially, I created names for my kidney (Seymour -- based on a character from the movie Little Shop of Horrors) and the tumors was Audrey2 -- like the blood sucking alien plant in the movie.
But back here in my Queendom, I had to find ways to quiet my fears. The night before my surgery, the Soul Warriors held a goodbye party for Seymour. Being surrounded by my close friends and family was very comforting and reassuring. As I made the two-hour drive to the hospital, I focused on breathing and staying warm in the love and strength of my friends.
When I got to Boise, I sat down and wrote the following. I think it's important that as we face challenges in our lives, we find ways to re-frame our thoughts from that of a victim to that of a warrior.
In fact, in my life, I've come to accept that I was born to be a warrior. I was never met for light work. I am destined to be a fighter and a leader and survivor. I wrote the following to remind myself that I was ready for this fight.
I'm working on the next part -- now that I'm home and off enough pain medications to be able to write again. I hope to post that soon.
The Queen sat down at the head of the table.
It was long and heavy. In Camelot, they had the Round Table. In Karmalot it was just known as THE table. In Karmalot, all important discussions happen in the kitchen, around the table.
She sat down and put her head in her hands. Taking a deep breath, she looked up and around at her people.
Steadying herself, the Queen spoke.
“You are all here because of something I did,” she said. “Something I spent years doing. And now you have to pay the price for it. If any of you want to walk away, I understand.”
No one moved.
The Queen, in the days before she fully understood her role and power, practiced the art of self-hatred. She never thought she was good enough. She was always trying to change herself to fit in to an expectation set far too high to reach. In her mind, she didn’t look the right way or say the right things. She was always striving for perfection in a world that would never see her as perfect.
Self-hatred, left untamed, is a toxin. After years of self-loathing the toxins build to a poison. Poison has one mission; kill. Over the years, the poison had tried to kill the Queens spirit, her creativity, her passion. She’d fought against the poison bravely and won most battles and carried the scars to prove it. But once in the system, poison must kill something. It gathered the self-hatred and self-doubt to form a new being. This blood sucking alien had colonized in the Queendom. No one knew for sure how long the aliens had been there, but they’d been discovered during a routine surveillance mission. Now, the Queen had gathered her advisors and warriors together around the kitchen table.
To her left, the Cabinet; Fear, Pride, Logic, Creativity, Compassion. To her right; the Soul Warriors. The Soul Warriors are an exclusive group of the Queen's closest friends and confidants. She made few decisions without consulting them. She trusted them without question and they felt the same about her.
The Queen spoke again:
“The aliens have set up two small encampments, one large and one small, on Seymour, our province on the east flank of the Queendom. We are calling the aliens Audrey2. Seymour has been holding on well. I’m not sure how much longer it will stand. We know there will be losses. We just don’t know how much.”
Fear spoke. Fear was allowed to be part of the discussion but was never allowed a vote in decisions.
“If the alien is on Seymour she could be in other places. This battle could take out other provinces. We could lose the entire Queendom.”
“No alien is strong enough to conquer us,” Pride said.
“We have the best research and military might,” Logic added. “We’ve done the recon and we know what to do.”
“Let’s throw a party to send our warriors into battle with full bellies and many blessings,” Creativity said, whipping out her planner to start making lists.
“We will need to treat the queendom with patience in love today,” Compassion said. “The battle will be difficult for everyone here.”
The Queen looked to the cabinet.
Even though Fear would not be allowed to vote, his words echoed in her ears.
“We could lose the entire Queendom”
Tears welled up in her eyes.
What if the invasion was worse than the surveillance teams had found? How will she manage the Queendom while under attack? What if the aliens won?
She turned to the Soul Warriors. These people were soldiers. The women were strong, fierce. They were menacing to those who couldn’t see their souls. The Queen knew they were filled with light and love, but those that didn’t understand the Soul Warriors’ mission were intimidated and afraid with good reason.
The men were a collection of artists, businessmen, teachers and scientists. They brought data and information to the queen. They provided resources, time and expertise.
These are the people the Queen loved most and they spoke in unison.
“We will prevail.”
The Queen clasped her hands together and bowed her head. She tuned into her core. She listened to the beating of her heart. She heard the voices of her ancestors and the voices of her friends and family. Then she closed her mind to all those sounds. For a moment she was still. She heard only her voice. She listened. She felt.
The Queen looked up and met the eyes of the people in the room.
“Load the whiskey. Round up the horses.
We attack at dawn."
Karma Metzler Fitzgerald