Monday, September 8, 2008

Let Me Eat Cake

I've never had a cake delivered to my place of business. Until Friday. Yes, the day after my birthday a gentleman arrived at my desk, carrying a large bakery box. He said he was looking for "Sam."

"Could you be looking for 'San'?" I asked, my hopes rising.

Peeking into the box, he said, "Yes, it's for San. From Margaret."

WOO HOO!!!

I myself lifted the lid of the big white box and caught a glimpse of one of the most beautiful birthday cakes I have ever seen.


What was most beautiful was that figure 526,600, which of course referenced my birthday post the day before--Wildest Gift: 525,600 Minutes, in which I celebrated the gift of another year totaling that many minutes. Now what's wrong with this picture? Correction. What's very, very right with this picture? The cake decorator granted me an extra ONE THOUSAND minutes!!! This celebration just gets wilder and wilder.

And if there's anyone who's looked Wildness in the face, who's embraced Wildness, who's danced with her, and had Wildness whisper her secrets into the ear, that would be the big-spirited giver of this cake, my lovely blogging friend Meg Wolff. Meg also understands deeply the gift of being granted time you didn't know you had.

Look at that beautiful, radiant woman and try to believe that in 2003 her doctor told her to put her affairs in order because she was dying of cancer. Meg had already given a breast and a leg to cancer and it was beginning to look like the rest of her body was now being taken over by that iron-fisted, take-no-prisoners dictator Cancer. But somewhere inside, Meg heard another, softer voice, a voice that was a bit wilder than the voice of the dictator. A voice telling her her work wasn't done here. She had heard this inner voice, the voice of her gut, before. And I quote from Meg's blog:

I had this "red flag" experience when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a bone stem cell transplant was recommended by the oncologist. Immediately, I had a stabbing gut reaction that this wasn't right for me. I had a sense that it would kill me. I went for a second opinion and the same treatment was recommended. I went to my doctor and told her I felt uncomfortable with this recommendation and she said, "Go with your gut, go with your gut, go with your gut." She recommended yet another oncologist who said, "I am in on the research and in the beginning it looked very promising for breast cancer treatment, but as time and studies went on, we saw that it wasn't as effective as we first thought so, I don't recommend it for you. Your gut feeling was right."

So, again, Meg trusted her inner voice. She believed it. She had more living to do and she would become whole. She might be missing a body part or two, but she would integrate the healing of her body with her life's work. That would make her whole. After all, there are plenty of people walking this earth, people whose bodies are perfect specimens, and still, they feel something's lacking.

To recognize one's calling in life is a huge leap towards wholeness. And that's exactly what Meg did. She followed her calling to learn about macrobiotic diets, to read all the evidence that eating a toxin-free, primarily plant-based diet of whole grains and fruits and vegetables and legumes, had helped people nurture their bodies and spirits back to health and wholeness. She read their stories and she believed them. Those stories became Meg's story! And she's made it her work to tell the world that story. She has authored two books about her cancer experience and her recovery, one of them a loving photographic depiction of her body's journey after cancer. She travels to teach workshops and sign books and give lectures and encourage people. I encourage everyone to go to her blog becoming whole and read Meg's story, read her generous advice on healthy living and eating, look at her books and consider ordering them. I encourage everyone to do so, but in particular, I would encourage anyone who is suffering from chronic illness or chronic pain or even the common cold or everyday burnout, to get to know Meg. Just this past week I received emails from two bloggers who have dear friends with serious cancer prognoses. Why didn't it occur to me until now?--they should go over to Meg's place!

Since listening to the voice of inner Wildness whispering in her ear, Meg's primary job description is hope bringer. And occasionally, she orders up cakes.

98 comments:

CrazyCath said...

And you, my dear friend San, are the blogosphere's best hope SPREADER! You are just such a diamond.

I love your cake, and you deserve those extra 1000 days. Here's HOPING you get many 10s of 1000s of days more.

Brilliant post. Meg is a real example.

San said...

Cath, you have made my day. Why are you so good at that?

Lee said...

You know, San, when God created friendship he designed a special template just for you. And after he had fashioned you according to this very special design, he destroyed the template so that in this world there is only one of a kind like you!

What a beautiful way to share your joy in someone's friendship and their calling. God bless you my friend!

Btw...how does that cake taste? Is it macrobiotic? Is there by chance chocolate beneath that lovely white icing? Hungry mouths want to know. LOL

Love,
Lee

murat11 said...

Couple a thieves you two is, innit? I'd say you've both out-Maya'd the Maya, with those minutes out of time, no? San-FEST continues...

aims said...

Thanks San! I have passed this on to my dear friend who has just finished her 7 weeks of radiation after losing her left breast. Her journey continues and I hope she finds something in Meg's Blog.

Kim said...

I think she orders up beautiful cakes to a beautiful person because she knows the beauty the inner voice brings.

Happy Birthday To Both of You! Here is to Always Having New Beginnings!

Congratulations San and Meg!

SandyCarlson said...

I'm with Crazy Cath. You deserve that new title! Times ten, lady. And you deserved every bit of that cake. God bless.

Lori Skoog said...

San...you are the messenger...every post outdoes the one before it. I do believe you are there for a reason, and that reason is to inspire others. Not only that, your writing style is so interesting to read. Many thanks for the impact you have on all of us. At 37 our daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer...now, one year later she is doing well....I will refer her to the sender of your splendiforus cake!
Lori

Celebration of Life said...

San,
Your blog about Meg is tender and heartwarming. Thank you for sharing your friendship with Meg. This is another reason to "Celebrate the Sweetness of Life."
Your friend,
Jo

Carol said...

How SWEET! (Figuratively and literally) I'm touched by Meg's story and the sweetness of her gesture to you.

And I second Lee's question: Is the cake macrobiotic? Chocolate? :-)

CoyoteFe said...

San - I think you are one of the people who "bite into the peach, and let the juice run down your cheek". And, in doing so, you attract the like-cheeked. Thank you for this wonderful post about the cake, the extra 1,000 minutes (what gift could top that?) and Meg. Today, you shone a bright golden light (again!).

Raven said...

Don't think I could say it better than crazycath.

You embody hope and love - and a joy in living - in your words and your paintings. It always feels like I've had a lovely visit with a good friend when I come here.

Hilary said...

What a lovely tribute to your friend. Beautiful sentiments all around.

lime said...

wildness, hope, and cake. now what's not to love about any and every part of that?

and to the two of you i think the hebrew phrase "le chayim!" (to life)

thanks so much for sharing this.

RiverPoet said...

San, happy birthday, happy cake day, and happy day in general! I think it's wonderful that you have such a friend in Meg - who could truly say she's too busy to bother herself with mere mortals like us! But I find that in people who have found their purpose, there s always such a sense of compassion and a need to reach out to others everywhere, because these people understand that we are ALL connected. All of us.

I'm so glad to be connected to you, "Sam"! ;-)

Peace - D

The Moody Minstrel said...

And Meg's cake looks a lot better than the one I made for my daughter!

I'm very happy Meg was blessed. I know so many that weren't.

Maggie May said...

Wonderful cake!
What a lovely lady and a real fighter.
A really good post, too.

Rhea said...

Happy Birthday a few hundred minutes lat!! You have such a wonderful attitude and good energy!!

San said...

Lee, you are too kind.

That's the question I asked Meg right off the bat. "Is it macrobiotic?" She said she googled 'macrobiotic cake Santa Fe' and got nothing. She did see a link to Chocolate Maven and so ordered a cake from there. They are a superb bakery. Just as good as they sound. No, it isn't chocolate underneath. It's the most delicious carrot cake I have ever sunk my teeth into. The kids got me a chocolate cake this year, so I have been in cake heaven. As have the other people I've shared with, including the gallery owner next door.

Love to you...

San said...

Leave it to you, Paschal, to have brought Mayan time into the recipe. Why didn't I think of that when writing this post?

Your profile pic continues to morph. This one is beautiful too.

San said...

Aims, my best wishes go out to you and your friend. Thank you for sending her to Meg's place. She should find some inspiration there.

San said...

Kim, I love what you have to say about New Beginnings. Here's to New Beginnings. For all of us when we need them. May their timing be perfect...

Cheers!

San said...

Sandy, thank you. As to deserving every bit of that cake, my appetite says YES. My middle-aged spread says NO. Wish I could give you a piece. It is scrumptious.

San said...

Lori, you've inspired me by labeling me a "messenger." Thank you.

I hope your lovely daughter finds her hope enlarged even more when she visits Meg's site. I'm SO glad she's doing well.

San said...

Jo, you're another who's had more than her share of challenges and who's kept dancing! You embody the spirit of celebration.

And I treasure your friendship.

San said...

Carol, I was extremely touched when I received this cake. It was unexpected and made me jump for joy.

Not macrobiotic. Not chocolate. The most delicious carrot cake I've ever eaten. Hey, it has fiber!

San said...

Fe, I love the notion of attracting the "like-cheeked." You do turn a phrase at that.

Thank you for your warmth of spirit, Fe. Your moniker suits you.

San said...

Raven, I feel exactly the same way when you visit here or I go over to your place. A real friend leaves you feeling better than before they arrived.

San said...

Thank you, Hilary. You are a lovely one.

San said...

Michelle, le chayim!

I'll drink to that any day. And eat cake.

San said...

Doris, your words are wise. Isn't that the truth? People who are im-passioned and purpose-filled do have plenty of the com-passion factor.

I'm VERY glad to be connected to you.

San said...

Moody, the cake you made for your daughter had a rare beauty.

I know what you mean about those who've been less blessed. There's always that "mystery" factor when it comes to illness and health. It's a factor we just don't understand completely. I lost my dad to cancer and I know your mother-in-law succumbed that way too. I hope your family is pulling through this time of loss as best you can.

San said...

Yes, Maggie May, I thought you'd like Meg.

Thank you for visiting. It's always a pleasure when you do.

San said...

Rhea, what's a few hundred minutes? Especially at my age. :-D

Thank you for such an exquisite compliment. That's quite a gift.

Daryl said...

Carrot cake! Perfect. What a truly wonderful gift.

You are not only a talented artist and writer but a true friend.

:-Daryl

Akelamalu said...

How inspiring Meg's story is!

What a lovely surprise the cake was for you, such a kind thing for your friend to do. :)

Sparkling Red said...

Wow, that is an amazing story. How do you hook up with all these fantastic people? Or do you just have a way of finding out the inspiring stories behind peoples' regular-looking lives?

Indigo said...

Indigo Incarnates

I remember the year I made a birthday cake for my grandmother (she was 86 at the time). Wow! The cake glowed so brightly that it practically lit up the whole room. She thought it was funny to put that many candles on a cake :)

Todd said...

What a wonderful post, San! Truly inspirational! So glad your birthday has been so great!! An unexpected cake . . . . LIFE IS GOOD!!
Peace,
Todd

Anndi said...

May you be blessed with many many more birthdays!

Your energy and enthusiasm for life are inspiring.

Shrinky said...

Oh san, this is such a life affirming post, your friend Meg is obviously an amazing and exceptional woman. I love the way you share your joy of her, you have a remarkable gift of opening your heart to beam out sunshine. It's a delight to visit with you, my friend.

San said...

Daryl, you're a great friend. I wish you could have a piece of the cake. Or Two.

San said...

Pearl, Meg is very inspiring. And thoughtful. As are you. Thank you for visiting.

San said...

Good question, Red, but I believe we are blessed with many inspiring people here in our blogging community. You are one of them.

San said...

Indi, thanks for such a great story! That must have made your grandmother's birthday perfect. How thoughtful.

San said...

Todd, life IS good. Thank you for acknowledging that. Peace and blessings to you, my friend...

San said...

Anndi, thank you for the birthday wishes.

And thank you for visiting. It's always a joy to see your face pop up in the comments column.

San said...

Shrinky, it's a delight to be visited by you. You weren't exactly passed over when they handed out the sunshine-beaming equipment.

Paula said...

San,

You have a lot more of life to live and I'm here to enjoy watching you do just that.

Happy Birthday, Woman !!!

San said...

Paula, here's hoping we all have a lot more life to live and are here to observe each others' joys, egging each other own!

Thanks, Woman!!!

Dumdad said...

A belated Bon Anniversaire!

San said...

P.S. to Paula. I meant "egging each other ON not OWN." Such an embarrassing typo.

San said...

Dumdad, merci! For the wishes and for the visit.

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by and making my day, San.

jsd said...

I hope you had 526,000 sweet bites!

Velvet Ginger said...

Meg is quite a gal~ that is a lovely cake! happy birthday again!!! You deserve all the happiness and sweet things in the world!

redchair said...

San- This is wonderful story about your friend. And congrats on the extra days of life. That's the nicest birthday present anyone could get. I'm going to check out Meg's blog.

I think being in my 50's is the best decade yet. Have a wonderful 55th year.
Vikki

A.Bananna said...

sweet cake and post about your friend! you are such a neat person. have a great week dear!

Lynette said...

What a beautiful cake and hugs to your friend Meg, what an amazing person she must be to fight and win the way she did! Thanks for sharing this very amazing and inspiring post San. Yea for those 1,000 days too!!

Jeff B said...

Time in a bottle I've heard of, but never time on a cake. I like it.

Meg's story is truly an inspiration to anyone going through an illness. Thank you for highlighting it.

sukipoet said...

Truly an amazing story about Meg. So many lessons there, whether one is suffering from an illness or not. To listen to oneself and to be aware of what your individual body needs and wants as opposed to a generic medical prescription, this can be true with any crossroads in life. It is so easy to be influenced by authorities. Predictions and so forth. So strong and brave to explore options and make ones own choice. Thanks for sharing this story and Meg with us all. Now, will you share a slice of cake????;)

ExpatKat said...

Thanks for swinging by my blog, San. May you have many extra thousands on your next cake! What a wonderful testimony to Meg.

San said...

Sandy, you're welcome. The pleasure was mine.

San said...

JS, it feels like I've had more than that. And I keep going back!

San said...

Rubye Jean, you are very sweet. Thank you for such warm wishes. I really appreciate it!

San said...

Vikki, I agree. The fifties is a great decade! Many wonderful things unfold for us.

I'm glad you're going to Meg's blog. It's a great place to be.

San said...

Thank you, Anna. Talk about neat persons. As "they" say, it takes one to know one.

San said...

Lynnette, yes, we all need at least 1000 extra minutes lying around somewhere, especially on a delicious cake!

Hugs to you and happy art-making...

San said...

Jeff, I like your phrase "time on a cake."

Meg's story is an inspiration. YES.

San said...

Suki, thank you for a wise and reflective comment. As ever. You're right--this kind of brave listening and decision-making applies to any crossroads, not just those involving medical decisions. And there are so many crossroads.

Of course you may have a HUGE slice of cake. ENJOY!

San said...

Kat, thanks for the extra thousands wishes! Back atcha!

katie jane said...

Kudos to Meg and what a lovely cake. Maybe the mistake wasn't a mistake after all. I mean, really, who could argue with an extra 1,000 minutes? Use them wisely.

david mcmahon said...

Great headline.

Great post.

And God bless the ``hope bringers'' who grace our lives.

Dianne said...

what a beautiful cake

meg sounds like an amazing person, I will check out her blog.

continued happiness san

San said...

Katie Jane, who me? Argue with 1000 extra minutes? I'm jumping for joy over 1000 extra minutes!

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving...

:-D

San said...

Thank you, David.

Here's to the hope-bringers!

San said...

Dianne, thank you for wishing me continued happiness. I am sending you the same...

womaninawindow said...

Yes, hoping the cake is just the beginning of many more days of wonder. Lovely story. Wonderful post. (Back from David's.)

Bruno LoGreco said...

Follow your gut each and every time. :) I know I do. What flavor was the cake San?

John-Michael said...

I thank You, My Darling San, for your loving and generous comment referring me to this post and your lovely Friend. I did, indeed, visit her blog and left an appropriate comment with her.

Lovingly ...

Angel... said...

O San, this is such a lovely post.. I will definetely go to Meg's blog today..You are such a sweetheart San. I feel like hugging you but unfortunately I can't.

The cake was wonderful and you deserve all that.

Regards,
Angel

indicaspecies said...

San,

I love the way you have written about Meg, your friend. It reflects how much you appreciate friendship.

This post is a continuation of your birthday celebration. Celebrate friendship, and celebrate life!

WILSONART said...

What an awesome surprise,,and an awesome person,,,, Meg!
We are so blessed by the people in our lives!

Merelyme said...

wow what a story...I definitely want to read her story. that cake looks divine!

San said...

Hi, Wonder Woman in a Window--I appreciate your wonder wishes.

It's good to see you here again.

San said...

Bruno, the cake was carrot. Extremely delicious carrot.

YUM.

San said...

John-Michael, I expected you would do that. I only wish you could have a piece of cake!

Love to you...

San said...

Hi Angel. A hug would be the best thing, but I'll settle for a close second--your lovely comment.

I know you'll enjoy Meg's blog. And I send you and your baby my best wishes...

San said...

Celine, you know all about celebrating friendship and life.

I value your friendship and I am inspired by your joy in living!

San said...

Babs, isn't that the truth?

I feel especially blessed by the supportive community of artists I've found here. And you are an important member. Thank you.

San said...

Merelyme, I haven't seen you in a while. That profile pic is so YOU!

Thanks for your visit.

Celebration of Life said...

San,
Have a great week! I am taking my computer so I can have coffee with you in the mornings!
Jo

virtual voyage said...

Great post and Many Happy Returns - definitely need to know what sort of cake it was...!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Gosh! I'm sorry we mist yor big day! Havent been on blogland as mutch as yewsual laytely. But wow! Look at that cayke! Wat a wunderful thing to do, send a big cayke to yor werk playce! WUnderful! I hope it waz as taysty as it lookt!!!

Belaytid berfday hugs!

:@D

San said...

Julie, it was a carrot cake. Delectable. My son doesn't particularly like cake, but he LOVED this one.

San said...

Bob, better layt than never!

I've missed you, but I knew you were out and about on various adventures. Welcome back and thank you very much for the berfday hugs.

xo

Anna said...

San what a beautiful cake idea, lol. And most of all, beautiful story about Meg. You know until you know someone with cancer, you don't realize how terrible it is. Few years ago my little cousin at 8 years of age was diagnosed with cancer, however he was fortunate to be diagnosed at the right time. I spent time with him in the Sick Children, and I tell you it was sad, every one prayed, including little Alexander praying too. We were very lucky that he is now turning into young handsome boy, he is 14 now. San again, thanks for sharing, your stories are always inspirational. Anna :)

Peter said...

Hi! Having had a melanoma removed sometime ago, I, like Meg, thank my lucky stars that I'm still here and happy that I have a chance of watching my children grow up to have children of their own. Yes, don't waste a second of your life whilst your still breathing.

Take Care,
Peter