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December 5, 2013

Beautiful Tumor. ~ Shadia Alam

I looked at a beautiful tumor.

It was as if petals of a flower had fallen before me. Big, pink petals with delicate lacy patterns and a violet eye at one end. These petals huddled together in clusters as if for warmth, or at least for sharing secrets. There was no mistaking the life that pulsed from these flower-petal-cells. I could see how even some were in the process of dividing, with spindles of indigo DNA, at either end of their textured cytoplasm, ready to give birth to another.

I looked at a beautiful tumor, and saw how the cells were being nourished by delicate blood vessels, coursing throughout. I saw the blood that the cells consumed like mother’s milk, growing stronger and plumper.

The sense of community was strong, as each cell stood shoulder to shoulder with its kin.

I looked at a beautiful tumor, and saw how all of this growth had happened as if it were overnight. Ceaselessly, tirelessly. There was no mistaking the passion for life that was before my eyes. These cells wanted nothing other than to live. While they might have disobeyed a certain order to do so, they had found fertile soil and sprang forth with abundance.

I looked at this beautiful tumor, and wondered about the patient.

How had he been living his life? Had he ever lived as freely as these cells? Had he ever known what it was like to fully express himself, to be vulnerable, and allow others to see him as he truly was? Had he ever approached life with abandon, growing with each opportunity, until it was undeniable what his true purpose was on this Earth? Had he fearlessly fought for what he believed in? For his right, as well as his brother’s and sister’s, to flourish with hope and health?

Or was this tumor the body’s last resort to release an unlived life? Were we all here with a certain amount of life to live, rather than time? That if we didn’t take the opportunity to live, these tumor cells could get the next claim? Were these cells accomplishing something in their lives, that perhaps, we had never accomplished in our own? Was this tumor, this form of concentrated life, the end result of years unlived?

I looked at a beautiful tumor, and saw life that might be its own death.

I saw an urgency to live.

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Assistant Editor: Alicia Wozniak/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives

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Shadia Alam