? The Power to Heal


The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. -Voltaire

A Band-Aid television ad suggests that the healing energy we need is already within us. Our job, the ad implies, is simply to cooperate with the universal healing force. All we need to do is protect ourselves while nature affects the cure. “Cuts and wounds,” manufacturer Johnson & Johnson reminds us, “heal twice as quickly when they are covered with a Band-Aid.” Their new slogan is “The Power to Heal.”

What a delight to see the world of pharmaceuticals coming closer to the truth! A Course in Miracles asks:

Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself. The outcome is what he decides that it is. Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice….They are not actually needed at all. The patient could merely rise up without their aid and say, “l have no use for this.” There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.

Even the mending of a small cut is a miracle! What human being has the power to recreate it? To be healed, we do not need to add anything to who we are or what we have. We simply need to become still and allow nature to reinstate us to our rightful condition of well-being.

In the practice of TCM the body’s natural state of health is the foundation principle for healing. In the five elements lives the philosophy that life and living are filled with a power toward expansion. In the lives of Celestial bodies, this is proved in physics terms. Even science moves toward the middle between seen and unseen. Qi is the name from China, spirit is the name for Native Americans, and many other societies have wonderful expressions of invisible energy. Electricity can be seen as an invisible energy, even that produced by the heart and the cells of the body.

Natural healing takes this energy into account and hums with increased results in ways not understood by the Western Medicine world. What a pleasure to be treated by acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping therapy or Tuina, within the sound of stillness using the modem of peace. In the quiet rooms of TCM practitioners around the world, healing is being taken back by the people. So is the quality of living here on our beautiful planet.

Health is my natural state. I accept it now.

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WWII VET


Something about the way he walked made me stop thinking about myself for a moment. I couldn’t see his eyes, or register an idea about his attitude or what he might be thinking. The four legged cane tipped me off to him though. In bold black letters, a phrase you could only see if you were looking at the cane at all, said simply WWII Vet.

About 90 something that would make him.

I was off to the side so I quietly walked behind him and gave him my spot in line. The teller called him by name. I couldn’t see it, but she made him smile. He took his time, and spoke softly with her about her day, and she winked at me, because I too was smiling. He moved slowly, steadily, surely. At the end of the transaction he asked for another, did she have any two dollar bills. Her reply was practiced. A numismatist I thought. Still my eyes kept falling on that simply typed affidavit. I was present in his world now. No rush, no time frame at all to make important, just a moment to savor, a conversation with a familiar face.

Cutler Bay is not the small town it once was, Perrine is the still the name used to describe the location I was at. I imagine this fella has outlived people half his age, and maybe even a child. Certainly a wife. Or two. He was the age my dad would be today if he were still alive. He drove there, under his own steam.

I couldn’t cash that check. I am old enough that a bank policy like cashing checks that say cash on them is no longer allowed. Life is changing around me some days like a tornado. I wish I could package it into a bottle like tinker bell in her bed. So much living goes on in a life. Frustration passed like a gray cloud in June and I just turned and began to leave. My cane fella was there at the coffee station for a free cup of coffee. Just as I thought his face was leathered and kind, full of gorgeous liver spots and a few band aids to boot.

“Thank you” I said, “for serving in that war and for fighting for the future I have now.”

His eyes so kind began to cloud, not with anger but with a heavy burden of memory. “My God I hope no one ever has to do anything like that again.”

“My father was in that war.”

“Really, where was he? Europe?”

“Yes I think he wandered all over Europe. He really liked German beer!”

Still with his own teeth, he smiled at me,” Me too!”

Then he asked me how old I thought he was.  I was trying to do the math, knowing my dad died about  13 years ago at 78 and he was just 18 when he went in,” and this fella was still here.

“88?”

“94.”

I remembered my father, “My dad was a peaceful man, the most peace wanting man I have ever known. The war made him that way.”

“I was the first platoon on the ground after the bomb.” His face held all the intensity he could pry from his small aged orbs. I could not imagine. “You could not imagine,” he said.

“When I was a young girl my dad and I discussed the bomb and I was a headstrong 13 year old saying how could anyone do that, we are awful! Etc…and he shook his head in agreement, saying it was. And yet he would have been on the next infantry ships to fight if it hadn’t been dropped. And he wouldn’t be here. “

It had been the first time in my life that experience had afforded me a much needed opinion stopper in my too often over opinionated mouth.

There was even more for me in this man. His eyes never left mine, except to gaze down for a moment, only to rise once again with that intensity before he spoke.

“See this scar here on my leg?” I did, it ran the length of his right shin just under his knee. “See this foot? I don’t have a heel anymore.” The shoe was misshapen; almost an oval to keep what was left of his foot inside. Again he began “I was in the first infantry division to land after the bombs were dropped. It was awful. It was so awful. “He had me for the rest of the day if he needed.

A young man of about 30 interrupted about that time. He asked us to step aside so he could get a cup of coffee. He was being patient, for Miami. My friend had a hard time standing on those melted feet, I could tell. I was mesmerized in my mind just hoping this guy would look at his feet, his cane, at the cup in his hand and the left buttock so precariously holding onto the coffee station so he could speak to me.

“Excuse me, can I get some coffee? Could you move please so I can get in to get a cup of coffee-“

“Come over here” my hand guided my friend, my dad friend, my hero from another day over just a step so this man could push his way to the coffee. In Miami sometimes coffee means more than dignity. But that’s another story.

“We walked down these roads, everything was dead and like jelly and stinking. There were some people left, they were raiding other villages for their children and eating them, they had posted skulls on sticks, like they were saying stay out! Or else!” His eyes were melting now. I was in his memory too. I was marching. My stomach was in the same 18 year old body of the boys who marched off the boat onto degraded soil. My heart was in my father, no longer here, but definitely there, while he looked at me and spoke the horror that had not left his memory for all these years.

For one more day he could sigh some relief, in the telling of it, laid the burden to be shared, as these burdens are supposed to be shared by countrymen. In the telling of it he also laid the responsibility again where it should land, on a voter, a citizen, that I may never forget his horror.

Jimmy Carter was getting some press this week. Funny how as he has gotten older, people just can’t get enough of him. So a reporter posed a question to him. “Mr. Carter, what would you say you are the most proud of about your presidency?”

Jimmy Carter spoke without hesitation. “I did not lead my country into war, not one time during my presidency.” In the historical retrospective we can weigh things with; I believe my dad and my new friend would be proud of anyone in office who could make that claim. There is good reason to fight war. Just ask a veteran.

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Who Knew


On cracked paint historic wooden baseboards

that had raised them stood

shadows of nothing more than 

slippers with puppies and too small pajamas

worn hand me down sneakers

on feet born 

 

just one year apart

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There’s Somethin About Music


ImageMusic

“There’s somethin about music, when it hits, it feels ok.”
Bob Marley

Winding through a lifetime, finding answers to self secrets, to a happy life, to a path worth following, the most dramatic change in my adulthood was that at around the age of 25, I started putting music in the background.
Tasks jumped into the forefront along with the future. As if I could see through some crystal ball what I would have, get, procure along the way; like a logger I chopped away at the tree until it fell.
Some things happen physically to us as we age, eyesight dims, hearing dims, muscles rebel and forget, bones weary and become brittle, and somewhere in this foggy outer bank a question emerges about the purpose of the time now lost and irreverent, spent in a task oriented schedule.
Get up. Start coffee. Hopefully the coffee was in the pot and all that happens is the flick of the switch. Damn. Forgot. Coffee, filter, scooper, scooper, dang where is the scooper. Water, rinse out old coffee, water. Wake up. Water in the little opening. Dang spilled all over the counter again.
Christ. Ok. There. light on. Shower.
Ahhhh.
Ahhhh.
How are the hairs on legs growing? Shave em. I love hot water on my head. Ahhhh. Shampoo first. Rinse well. Condition = get the stuff out but not too much just right or it will get sticky up wirey= rinse. Ahhhh.
Today by 7:15 I better get out for the door. Traffic. Ahhhh hot water. Wake up! Move! Did I finish the work? Where are the keys? Dry off. Hot. Sweaty hot. Foggy mirror, wipe it, no run to bathroom get dressed. It’s quicker. Coffee. Pour it, smell it, ahhhh. Work. Get the computer on, what didn’t I do well enough yesterday? Crap, did I finish anything? So much to do! So important!
In twenty minutes a jamboree has happened, that hasn’t happened.
What did I do in my teens? I don’t think I did anything until I put on a Jim Croce Album, or maybe BJ Thomas, and then I would just stop everything and listen, and sing. Music was the air I was breathing. There was something I couldn’t explain going on with the vibrations and tones, with the individual voices, with the selection of patters of each individual artist. Add some words and life made sense in that moment. Perfect sense. There was nowhere to be, nothing to do. I felt intense peace.
Fast forward. No albums, but music is more available that ever. Why don’t I turn it on first? Why is it only after I get in my car that I let it swallow me. Or after the finishing of tasks like coffee making. What stopped me from the button that would bring those sounds to me right away. Vibrate me into oblivion instantly.
Music is a part of prayer. It may be a part of meditation. It wires the brain for joy. I had forgotten that. Just listening for 5 minutes and doing nothing . I emerge into the day. I let the water pour upon my head. I feel the skin that I am in. I feel grateful. The driving and ambition leave me. Tenderness unexplainable soothes the nerve endings, a smile parts my lips. I am here, now, ready to sing.

Simple


Keeping it simple requires a bit of stubbornness, a wink of humor, maybe even a little help from family.

Working at music and writing seems to be leading me to all sorts of required reading, things like reading Lolita, accepting the truth in a moment, serious meditation and healthly eating habits. A little yoga in the morning is breakthrough stuff!

Things have started appearing, like new tires for my truck in barter for a condo clean, fruit growing in the backyard that is the new craze, guanabana crossed with custard apple, a daughter who makes sure my phone is on even in July, and countless dear friends who are though they don’t realize it, helping me STAY on my path.

I have managed to avoid the pitfalls of an unordinary life until the economic downturn. I kept making headway, then recoiling to safety.

College introduced me to mental meandering, first in the wee hours of my twenties given a college opportunity I lapped at the water bowl of great writers, philosophers, economists; those with broad ideas.

Time marched into graduation where I promptly let go of my passions and chased the dollar into slavery and then my own business which was true slavery to the dollar. Nothing seemed to come to challenge the mountain of success. My body worked from pre-dawn till dusk. My pride edged forward to the shore where I could bask in my accomplishments. A home, cars, insurance paid, the belief that I was great at something. But what was I great at? Not much. I didn’t seems to be feeling much happiness. In fact my whole world existed of work or what I termed work, and trying to get enough sleep to wake up at 5am the next day and do it again.

I still wonder what would have happened if I had taken that masters program that was offered, the one at Wake Forest NC, where Maya Angelou began a professorship in the late 1980’s. Hmmmm. Imagine the difference that might have made in the life of a woman.

It’s never too late. Ever since the dragon woke inside with a push from society and the age of 53, a whole state of consciousness has opened up. I will have the money to pay back my daughter for her temporary loan. I will now drive to keep the bills paid with the stray work that seems to come from out of the rays of a rainbow and I will explore opportunities, write when it bubbles up, sing every day, put my little band together, and feel the music rise through me like fire.

 

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Howl At The Moon


 

 

 

Finding a great home in the Stuart Coffee Company, the new and improved Writer’s Howl is a smashing success! Here at Howl At The Moon, we hope to energize creativity along the treasure coast with a great new venue in the heart of Stuart. In this quaint little town, right next door to the Historic Lyric Theatre, many fledgling artists and accomplished hackers too shall gather for festivity and the spoken word. All genres of writing, poetry, songwriting and celebrity are invited! No pressure, only fun. To live and work with the artsy individuals that meander the back roads and long highways delights us and causes that throwing back of the head, raising the voice to the sky!

Join us! Every third thursday of the month!

http://www.facebook.com/HowlattheMoonWriters?ref=hl#!/