It's all about sh*t
Please excuse how graphic is the title of today's contribution, I'll soon explain. The lotus flower is in Tibetan Buddhism the symbol of one the most noble virtues of all, love or compassion, which grows in sh*t, in the sludgy and stinky mud, the filthy waste of the land. It is very different to explain this abstractly than to live it. That is why I offer you today my experience, with the power of personal narrative, which may become yours... unless the story becomes disgusting for you and you need to stop reading. It would be legitimate to do so. Let's do it.
I've been away from this space during a few weeks for the reason of having had surgery to remove my rectum, the place that hosted the cancerous tumor detected months ago. I received wonderful explanations about the procedure to take place and I understood them without difficulty, even the less pleasant aspects of it. That's what I thought. However, I really had no idea of what was coming..
It seems like you can live without a rectum, which is the last portion of our large intestine. Surgeons have done a prodigy by removing this and connecting my colon and anus. Allowing this area to heal without the impediment of body waste is vital to avoid infections, so the standard bypass is an ileostomy, or an opening in the abdomen where a small portion of the ileo, part of the small intestine, is extracted as a new way out. And so it happens, as one of my favorite nurses explains, that I've grown another a*s 2 inches away from my navel. I've always appreciated her sense of humor and candor.
Mi new a*s is connected to a bag, connected to an adhesive ring which I was sure I had learned to change in order to maintain as much hygiene of the area as possible. Crap is acid and hurts the skin surrounding the opening were there be undesirable leaks. Well, once again easier said than done and, yesterday, for the up tenth time, before having breakfast, after spending two hours in the bathroom after several failed attempts and accidents in which my waste was coming out in unexpected moments and places, I found myself profoundly irritated with everything and everybody. Profoundly.
It was not just about my incontrollable sh*t, but also the world's sh*t. I was irritated with those who voted a certain way in the past US elections and with the rest, who think better than the other ones. With the government of Spain and with the opposition. Irritated also with COVID-19 pandemic´s negationists and with those that despise such opinions, with the anti-vaccine movement and with the pro-vaccine people. I felt deeply irritated with those who are ignorant and those who are wise but useless. And in particular, with my ex, who keeps on getting on my nerves almost two years after our break-up and wrote me to tell me he knew I did not wish him to write me, and that he would pray for me.
With people who don't like me.
With people who ignore me.
With those who love me so much that stress me out.
And, above all, with myself for stressing out about those who love me so much.
With some of us who practice compassion and fail miserably, and with those who reject the concept, the idea or the conversation.
With this, everything came out, I believe. Inappropriate, uncontrolled, foul-smelling. I was not in rush to rectify, learn or comment and I beg you to do the same with this story. I ddin't even have to clean up anything if I didn't feel like doing it, that would be my (stupid) choice but my freedom. However, once the sh*tty whirlwind is over, I'd rather sterilize it, I'd rather continue to learn to manage all this waste that is never going to end, real as sh*t itself, as life, as I am myself.
The thing is that even if did not see it yesterday, among all this, in the nothingness that binds it all, sh*t and beauty, in the nothingness which is this WHOLESOMENESS, lies compassion and LOVE, with capital letters. There lies the possibility to find and build what we prefer. This is the choice to clean the sh*t, to make fun of it, to enjoy a delicious meal that generates waste or a discussion with those who think different from you, the choice to fertilize this ground with manure to cultivate the lotus flower and birth beauty. I could not do this alone, or without the undesirable sh*t. Impossible