Open Medicine Foundation®
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ME/CFS and related chronic complex diseases

Rubbing out my Life

By Jenny Strachan

We’re taught from a very early age
Make a mistake and rub it out.
Now I open my diary and start rubbing out my life,
Life that is measured by what has been erased.
Rubbing across paper with a meditative rhythm
Thoughts and memories moving back and forth.
Thai rubbings are Buddhist monks’ mirror images.
My rubbings are the mirror of my life
Recorded in the faint erased impressions still left on the paper.
Japanese fisherman rub rice paper over fish, making fish impressions
To record the catch of the day.
But as I reach for my small stick of rubber – I do not record my life – I erase it.
There are no impressions left of what I have missed.
Yet every year I select the most beautiful diary
To mark my plans for the future.
As I hold it in my hand – I am holding onto hope.

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