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John Longbottom

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That One Spot of Light

There are some mornings when I wake up and just for a moment I have forgotten the cancer. It’s in that tiny space when the mind is beginning to wake up but the eyes have not yet made the effort to open. I wake up feeling great and very calm, at peace. Sometimes, its a long moment, which I savor like a fine chocolate melting slowly in my mouth. It never lasts, either I’ll cough and then say to myself, “Oh shit, I forgot about that.” Or occasionally, just being conscious of the moment will remind me that it is just that, a moment, a sigh, a pause in the breath of life. Sometimes it’s over in a flash. But it was there and that moment can never be taken away.

I’m not one for expounding on self help or saying feel good things, nor do I suggest to people what they might do, or tell them what I think they should do. I have thought, however, that we all have those moments of respite in our lives, especially in times of stress. Whether that stress be financial, emotional or physical there is an inevitable and involuntary hiatus in our incessant stream of consciousness when the stress is completely forgotten, gone but not eradicated from our minds. It is then, in those spaces, in that one spot of light, that I am totally free.

It is not a bright, center-of-a-dark-stage spot light; it’s not really a light at all but a warm, yellow luminescence in the middle of total blackness. Strangely, I don’t yearn for it to stay, or try to prolong the moment into a measurement of time, although I must confess that the crass thought of, “if only we could bottle it.” had crossed my mind. Fortunately, that scenario with its envisioned horrors was rapidly quashed. No, I am happy for that one spot of light to be there however ephemeral it may be. When it goes, I do not long for its return nor do I expect or want it to be there every morning. I enjoy the surprise as much as the moment. I’m even afraid that writing this may somehow dilute its potency. That by naming it, this one spot of light will be forever dimmed leaving only a tiny wrinkle in the blink of time.

John Longbottom, August 2019

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