to heal, again

To heal, again may or may not be the etymology of the English word, "remedy". It is an interesting concept to me, and there was a time when I was fascinated by Navajo sand paintings: a healing technique in which the afflicted stands while a ceremony is performed to "remind" them of humankind's natural relationship to the universe. These paintings, consisting of all kinds of symbols, like lightning gods and rainbows, were not to be preserved beyond the ceremony: they served the specific needs of the person seeking healing, only. Indeed, given that each individual is different, it is is rather odd to expect there to be a "universal cure": how "health" reaches a person depends on who and where they are in life.
I have been thinking about such things as I consider the allergies one can be prone to through exposure to laundry detergent. I often think of that '80's film, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, about the housewife whose husband works at a chemical company that makes detergents and soaps, all of which she uses. As a result of exposure to those chemicals, she shrinks. I have not seen the movie in decades, but it left a lasting impression on me: surely the chemicals that we use come with a risk? Anyhow, I have searched the internet for recipes for more natural alternatives. I have discovered the joys of coconut oil used as cream, and apple vinegar, but the verdict is still out about a long-term solution.
Even if one wants and tries to stay healthy in life, a thousand factors can lead to ailments: genes, stress, noise, the water we drink... So, it can happen that we need to "heal, again" at various stages throughout our lives.
Ailments can help us remember our place in the universe. We live in a delicate ecosystem. There are threats, but threats have their place: seen in the right way, they are necessary for our survival. I have told the story before about live fish shipped long-distance, in large tanks. They died in greater numbers when predators weren't put in with them.
The healing to any ailment is like a gentle education: we learn more about our nature, and more about how to take things in stride; we are not the center of the universe, but the universe resides in our center when we are calm, and do not scare it off - like moving too quickly when the birds eat from our windowsill. There is so much beauty - and this beauty is the kind that lasts through generations, not "not irresponsible exploitations of technique in contradiction of human life as we know it...[helping] us neither to enjoy nor endure..." (Larkin), but "the great art of the past to convince one that the human species deserves to continue" (Pound). A great 20th century scientist wrote that thanks to his (classical) education, "the longer I live, the more attractive life seems to become," for this revealed "the power to move freely in the world of beauty and goodness." We have the power to move freely. How many examples of those who were born or became blind illustrate this for us.
To heal, again. Maybe it's a life motto. Spiritual believers understand that they are not cured for the duration of their terrestrial life once they declare their belief, rather, they are called, throughout their life, to continually be cured - of one ailment after another: e.g. of insecurity, ignorance, over-sensitivity, pride - the list goes on. May we continue to be healed, and remember our place in the universe.

No comments:

Post a Comment