Been thinking a lot about opposites.
Light versus dark.
Happiness versus sad.
Fair versus unfair (that one takes up weeks).
And order versus random.
All these poles.
I wonder if there is a magnetic force with them too. Are we drawn to one over the other? Does every person have a different number of protons versus neutrons that make us on a spectrum of magnetism? Drawn to one of these poles versus another. More likely to be sad than happy? More likely to be one versus another.
Spectrums have recently become a real thing. A spectrum of autism, a spectrum of dyslexia, and a spectrum of gender. Spectrums seem to be real as the data from science and my own observations confirm this. It seems that we all live on different spectrums within these poles.
But why have poles at all? Why do things need to have an equal and opposite reaction? But I guess you need poles to know where you are.
How would you find North without South?
And that is where Steve and I stand, on poles.
I saw this image the other day. And it was like looking in a mirror. There is Steve and me. Steve, reaching North, and I plowing/digging South.
We both plant trees.
Steve’s tree reaches up at the HOW.
This tree is future bound. He makes a decision tree of the future. If this happens then we will have A, B, or C, options. If we go with option A, we will have D, E, F options, and he carries on from there, never stopping, growing. Reaching for the sky, reaching to solve HOW. Blossoming branches and leaves. Stretching sky-bound for a cure.
I, on the other hand, head south. I need to know the WHY. Why does cancer even happen? If this is true about the abnormal nature of its cell, then what happened before it turned abnormal? How is a cell created? What is the history of cancer? I also need to know it from every teacher that has an “answer.” I need to learn it from the scientists to the Buddhists so I can find my own WHY. Because while Steve looks for the cure of this moment, I look for the cure of ALL moments. Without the WHY we can’t anticipate the next HOW. And unfortunately, I’m learning there can always be a next. Two rare cancers in 6 months. All of these kids around me. There is no absolute. We need to understand the WHY.
The fact that we have taken different paths have made it hard to communicate at times. For example, when Steve asks me for input on a therapy for Jacob that will take place a year from now, it’s hard for me to respond. To get there (to where he lives) I have to travel so far. I’m so deep underground. So deep that for me to meet him, I have to first find my way North than go from his branch to branch through each decision. And vice versa.
But I now see us as less different than the same. We are the reflection of the other.
And my WHY informs his HOW and his HOW informs my WHY. As knowing the HOW can give clues as to the WHY. And you need the WHY to determine the right HOW.
And when you look at our decision trees (look at the picture), they make an oval. They come full circle. They make a whole image. They compliment each other and even look mystical.
It is remarkably beautiful.
What makes this image even more striking is a strange obsession about us with trees.
3 years into marriage, we both learned that we tend to take pictures of the same thing. We both are drawn to pictures/vistas of trees standing alone. I’ve always collected such images. Here are two examples.
Steve is drawn to them too and this is not because of me. He came to this odd fascination on his own.
We are both just amazed by them.
How do they grow alone? How did that seed get there? Why are there no other trees? How does it survive? Why does it stand alone?
But for the first time in these pictures, I’m drawn to a new part of them. Not their strength, but I notice their shadows and reflections.
They don’t stand alone, because as it grows sky-bound so does it grow earthbound spreading its roots. Making it stable.
So today I finish another textbook and move onto the next. Looking at the history of cancer. And today Steve meets with a new geneticist to look at the future.
We are building a tree that reaches to the sky because it has the roots to support it.