Be a Lamp: Breakthrough Tip for the week of 9/11/2017

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat,
or a ladder. Help someone’s
soul heal. Walk out of your
house like a shepherd.   —
Djalal Ad-Din Rumi

What does it take for us to walk out of our houses like shepherds? And what if our “house” is our computer/smart phone – that space that swallows us, that dwelling without scent, taste or touch? I occupy that house as I write you. I wander from empty room to empty room. I can hear the real world calling. I know that I need to write the story of what I have learned about the American “health care” system during the last weeks of my recovery from an unnecessary devastation.

I know that I can be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder for someone ensnared in the profitable chaos of hospitals and health insurance. You might know the doubts that chime in: “Where will I get my words published?” “What good will writing the darker story do?” “How can my words change what seems to be immutable?”

I need to let the path into the internet fill with pine needles. To begin, I log off.  Now.

From Theresa Souers: Two people are on their first date. One of them hands the other the picture attached and says, “You may not know this, but inside the Milkweed is a sticky white sap that contains a mild poison.  Monarch butterfly larvae are immune to this toxin. By feeding on their leaves, they are able to accumulate enough poison to make them distasteful to predators.” 
 
His eyes remained focused and he noticed his hands were shaking ever so slightly.  His words hung in the heavy air for a few long seconds and then carried gently downward landing at their feet.
She scolded herself inwardly.  “Get that look of your face.  Don’t show your thoughts you idiot.  He brings up poisoning sap?  His dating profile described him as an outdoorsman. Outdoorsman means sportsman in my book.  Milkweed?  Butterflies?”  
After an eternity of awkward silence, he looked up to see if she had heard him.  What was that look in her eyes?  Disgust? Did she already know about the poison?  Did she find him dull?  What the hell was he thinking blurting out this bit of trivia.  Everyone knows about the symbiotic relationship between butterflies and the milkweed.  Maybe she didn’t know.  Maybe she thinks he was talking over her.  Her dating profile indicated that she loves the outdoors.  If she loves the outdoors, surely she fills her life with pertinent facts.  She probably knows not only about the milkweed but how its essential existence is disappearing around the world due to the expansion of residential neighborhoods, growing commercial farms and the droughts.  She probably even knows that milkweed butterflies are a subfamily called Danainae which is in the Nymphalidae family and that the somewhat 300 or so species are typically found in tropical Asia and Africa.  Crap, why doesn’t she say something?
 
The voices in her head, both the sweet and not-so-sweet, slapped her into consciousness.  Say something you ditz.
“Wow – cool.  I didn’t know that.”  What was that look on his face?  Seriously?  He thinks I care about sticky white sap? What would he say if I told him that the greatest difference between longboards and skateboards was the board itself?   Does he know that a skateboard deck is usually 30 – 32 inches in length with a width of 7.5 – 8.5 inches while a long board can range from 35 – 100 inches long and b up to 10 inches wide?   
 
“Want to get an ice-cream?” he asked?  “Sure” she replied.  “Just nothing white and sticky.”

 ***

From Elizabeth Maginnis:  Some expert in such things declared that cold water therapy does wonders for fibromyalgia. It supposedly stimulates the lymphatic system to flush toxins and other nasty stuff out of the muscles, bringing about pain relief. I was skeptical. Having lived with fibromyalgia for over a decade, I’ve made peace with my limitations. Kicking and screaming all the way, maybe more of a truce than an all-out declaration of peace. Peace would be returning to the self who could run a mile in ten minutes or walk to the bus stop without needing a cane. The self who didn’t need a nap every day after lunch. The self who still enjoyed swimming in the back yard pool.

 

So, this morning I took my dogs out to the back for a potty break, as usual, and there was something about the pool water, so clear, so inviting. OK, the air was cool, the water temperature just as cool, but the sun was shining . . . The shimmering water lured me with its siren song. Why not? Why not test the theory? I won’t swim for long. Maybe five minutes.

 

Whoa! That first dive just about stopped my heart! But wait a minute, that wasn’t so bad. Let’s do it again and see. I don’t want to get out of the pool just yet! My body tingled with energy as I submerged and swam under the surface to the other side of the pool. Again. Again. Again. And again. Hey!

 

It’s three hours later, and my body still feels alive.

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