Cancer

This is not a cloud.. Cancer is not a cloud, it could be, but… | by Shivani | Sep, 2021

Shivani

Cancer is not a cloud, it could be, but it isn’t. This is a metaphor that keeps failing. Even though it does cast a shadow, even if the sky has been overcast during the period of both your father’s surgeries, it still isn’t a valid comparison.

You might have wanted to look for a particular Magritte painting with a cloud and a rock floating below it just before one of the appointments with the onco-surgeon but that desire doesn’t hold any water.

The dense cloud from the hospital window might have appeared to envelop Zeus and Hera’s intimacy because you were listening to a lecture on the Iliad in which the teacher said that the cloud is a visual representation of forgetfulness that sexual desire occasions, and you might have longed for such forgetfulness, but even then, the cloud had no truck with the disease.

In a bizarre displacement of images you might have wanted for a cloud to be in your father’s mouth instead of a tumour that lit up brightly in the scan, but that is as ridiculous as it sounds and it has no cure in it.

Is there a cloudiness to cancer though? A dense fog that inhibits all other thought and does not allow for clarity? There is no floatiness to it though, no lightness, no sky for it, it pulls one close to the ground of cellular activity, and so the metaphor fails again.

Who anyway sits with metaphors while their father learns to take small sips without spillage? Which fantastical cloud is this that the desperate writer sits on? Why does she hold on to the billowy whites while the surgeon shines the torch to show her the reconstructed tissue on her father’s palate?

In Magritte’ “Clear Ideas” is the cloud at top, the rock in the middle and sea beneath it all,

in her mind there is a failed metaphor.


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