Why Not To Be A Doctor Or Spock –  A Prose Poem

When as a 36 year old doctor I had severe chronic back pain, Dr John Sarno took me on a journey of recalling all my childhood’s pain. The rain of old memory, cured my back pain by allowing my life’ new memory to peacefully reign. You’ll understand sooner or later, perhaps in this story.

baby-1178539_1920Remembering birth was tough, but time before it was easy. Life in the 1700’s was magnificent but that came from past life regression and this story is not about that journey, but the one after my current birth, not before. I never did manage to remember this more recent birth, perhaps because I really don’t care to or maybe can’t. I do recall however being about age one. It’s not that interesting other than for its wordless description. So I will save you a long recital by telling you it was about cycles. I recall the cycles of the sun behind my crib as day came and went through the window behind where I slept (I slept through most of it). The next interesting thing, perhaps from your viewpoint, was the periodic visitation of floating faces that made cooing noises. I knew they were “nice” as I could feel their happy thoughts. When I could stay awake, seeing them was entertaining.  By the next year, I now knew they were “people” and that with gifts of food or lack of care their visits seemed to bring joy or fear.

When I was about three sitting on the basement floor, I watched my sister assemble a puzzle and for the first time really knew disappointment. I insisted on trying but when I could not do it my mother laughed; it was the first time I ever felt abashed. I did not understand that my sister being nearly twice my age had an advantage. How I “viewed”my mother’s laugh shaped who I am forever – competitive, but mostly with myself. Mom was very creative and to this I was native. There was little TV, just building creative toys and dreams for me.

In kindergarten, the teacher told us to put on reindeer hats and parade in a circle to music and entertain our parents. I refused her, asking why I should do this?  She just got mad thinking that I dared need a reason! From then on I looked at her with derision for her very poor emotional decision. This event that day made me a father to Spock,  emotion free as a rock; though I suspect he was conceived in my mother’s laugh.  We were one and the same with just my name. 

In high school and college, sex I had to acknowledge; but joy for me was being so high on the curve that everyone else would fail. Calculus, Chemistry, Biology all the sciences, her laugh long ago determined how far I would go to leave them all in the dust. 

doctor-2337835_1920Fifty years later having joyfully invented a branch of Holistic Medicine, my patient’s pain had become dark rain. A body cooked long round the spit of the sun finally begins to fail, it ceases to run. My patients grew, old my joy grew cold, for even years after I could still hear her laughter.  It was time to leave!  After 45 years I’d earned that reprieve.

Here in Florida I met a lady who’d been my best friend 40 years ago when I had been painfully divorced.  Her eyes were failing and her surgeons flailing. I volunteered my services for a guided tour that the doctor, not Spock, should have known to abhor. Surgeons well selected, care well directed. But, years of life predicted age could not be interdicted.  Now I remember the reason to retire, watching life end inspires no great desire.

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But being a friend before life’s end is a gift of value that laughter can’t devalue.  As I sit here this morning enjoying the sun, I’m glad that from other’s pain, I chose not to run.  I cannot stop the end of life but with love and caring there is great opportunity for preparing.  

For much of my life I’m again married to a wife, who had been to many daring to be selflessly caring. Now I’m inspired, to be so desired, life’s too short to stay retired. Care given to a friend does spiritually help them mend. Her laughter faded in the ever after. 

 

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Last Words Before Drowning from Life and Marriage

drowningWhile drowning in the sea of life choked by your own hands around you own neck, what are the last words you try to utter? Could it be…..‘if only I had….?”

The rain and storms of life and marriage may at times erode the firm mental land we each stand on, the land we have dredged up from birth to adulthood in becoming who we are.  This may happen little by little and go unnoticed until a strong storm arrives and the waters rise rapidly in a threatening manner.

On other hand slow rains may soften the soil too.  Our spirit may sink into the muck of  jobs responsibilities,  a marriage’s envisioned commitments or trying to raise a child as your mom did, which takes all of the time, you have left after work, to fulfill.  Inevitably  you change sometimes for better sometimes for worse but you change from what you were.  In a marriage, if you are like most, you are opposites in many ways. You each have your strengths and your weaknesses.  It is easy to rely on each other, if the relationship is “good” and notice that your spouse is more efficient than you at some tasks and let them do it,  why not? You also will avoid their criticism when you do less well than they would!  By the same token you may take on new responsibilities you might not have done, were you not married and you may grow.

It is however frequent experience that one day you notice that,  even though you have grown with challenges, in some ways you have lost some skills.  You have lost some skills by giving up tasks you were less skilled at than your spouse.  I have seen men who cannot fill out a check or balance a check book, even though they were very capable before their marriage.  There are women who do not drive long trips because their husband is a better driver.  This is the beginning of drowning but it is gentle subtle and unnoticed. It is much like putting a frog on a pot of cool water and heating it slowly on the stove.  The frog gets used to the temperature bit by bit and slowly cooks to death without noticing it (or so they say in legend).

I recall many years ago being told by my first wife that she did not love me anymore and she was leaving.  It was a surprise to me. When she was out of my life a few days later, I suddenly realized that I did not know what to do  with my time (she took my daughter with her too).  It was very quiet coming home and so I bought a shotgun to keep under the bed because all the noises I suddenly heard (pipes and heating systems creaking at night) were too spooky.  In the coming days, I went out to a Chinese restaurant,  rather than cook, which I was good at.  Then I accidentally discovered that I had a personality and quickly made friends with the waiter and then people almost everywhere I went.

Though I had faded into the background in marriage, I was now becoming visible again!  Having been married to a sanguine women who for Man FAding away13 years at my side,  elocuted  dramatically in exciting humerus  stories at the blink of an eye, I had vanished into the background of my surrounding intellectual fog. Now however I found bright people who actually saw me and chose to converse with me; I was amazed to discover that I was not invisible!  Going to the gym I found new friends as I stayed long enough to make them rather than rush home, since my home was empty.  My home was empty but my life became full as the strangling sea-vines of a marriage, I had not understood, fell off my body and gave me back the gift of life I had known before.

If you find yourself one day, sinking into the quick sand like muck of life or that which marriage can become, you may start to wonder what became of you?  Where is that bright sparkling spirit that attracted your wife?  Where is the dream that woke you up each morning with the excitement to explore each new day?  Is it dead, did it die and are you just a body walking around without a life giving soul?  If you feel any connection with my thoughts then consider that it is is all your own doing!  The hands around your neck that are choking you  are yours, it is always your own choice;  however, it is subtle and unseen so it is not something to beat yourself up over.  It is also something you can undo!

Consider this story as an example.  I was told that many years later a man, married for a second time, learned that his wife had decided to take a 5 day trip without him.  As it happened, for practical reasons,  it turned out she selected a time that included his birthday.  As her birthday was very important to her,  he suddenly wondered why his appeared less important. He when told her he was not happy with her timing and she explained logically why she had chosen the time;  but then added,  I can go away if I wish,  “after all we are not joined at the hip.”   That made a big impression on him!

Of course she was right, he could easily live without her and his birthday, which meant much less to him,  could easily be celebrated, if he wished, on another day. When she left, he spent 5 days as a bachelor and suddenly discovered how much he enjoyed his time alone.  He began to wonder what exciting things would he would discover if he had more time to himself.  In those 5 days he learned a lot about himself that he had forgotten and he began to find new exciting reasons to get up early.

He and his wife are good friends and as happily married as I expect people are after 30 years; but, he had now noted how he had sunk into the water of  life without noticing it. She asked that he pick her up at the airport upon her arrival, which he did.  In the past he had not driven at night long distances as she was the better one at remembering long routes.  On his way down state to pick her up, he said he  had a marvelous time driving on the highway and not threat of critique as he was on his own.  He discovered that he had given up his power to her without recognizing it.  He was re-appearing from the fog of dissolution that marriage can create and now standing higher above the waters.  It made him think, that we who are in long standing relationships should all take separate vacations from each other at least yearly!  If this small event make him happy,  what else might he discover?

Separate vacationsShould separate vacations not be a routine?  Perhaps many men do take separate vacations but he had not done so.  He liked being home and he had a lot to do there, he was a writer and an artist who enjoyed the use of his home for both.  He had a TV room where he could watch all sorts of media; he was never bored. His work day was surrounded by people and constant social interaction, so he was never alone.  Yet, he was drowning in the sea of life and marriage and not noticing it.

I am taking a 4 day vacation by myself soon.  What about you?

Janr

Compromise Is Not A Place Where Cowards Hide

If you are lucky enough to get older, you probably are rich in ways even well educated college graduates may not understand.  Perhaps even you may not be aware of it.  I have acquired some, and it sometimes feel as if I am swimming in a sea of  this wealth, even though it is hard to define and spend.    It is hard to define from day to day as it morphs and flows much like a river or a storm. Such is the contemplation of experience that some call wisdom but I sincerely cannot define as such, at least for myself.  However, I now more than ever,  understand what it means to say, “The more I learn, the less I realize I know .”  Yet I am unable to not try to understand that which surrounds me, even knowing that tomorrow, I may redefine what I thought was true today. wedding hands

Imagine for a moment,  how lonely it would feel to fall from an airplane into an ocean and be surrounded by endless seas,  with nothing but the slight security of your life jacket. This is how experience feels to me at this point in my life. It makes me wonder if there is another level of learning before the end of this physical life.  If there is, I hope it is where you discover cabinets designed to store this knowledge  and a Dewy Decimal System to classify it. Better yet a “Google 3” to help you access it in a quick and meaningful fashion. What does this have to do with cowards and compromise?

One experience I will attempt to share with you, as I am trying to sort it all out, is relationships.  Think back in your life to a special family relationship,  a marriage or a close friendship; perhaps a relationship with someone who attracted you by their unique and special style.  Sometimes it is hard to immediately note what was so special about this person as it was likely several things. They may have kept their house immaculate and decorated with colors that blended, harmonized and coordinated to express their artistic sensitivity.  If it was, remember how much you enjoyed lounging in that comfortable chair surrounded by the warmth of this microcosm of peace beauty?   You may recall  putting  your hand down to rest and becoming aware of  a beautiful small table, right there, with a cool drink to calm the heat of that summer’s day.  How balanced,  calm and peaceful it was.  A lot of thought went into this.  If this was the home of a lady you were dating,  this might have catalyzed the dream that made it a permanent relationship. And then you just might have moved in together.

Within a year or so, though the environment she created is still enchanting,  it was hard to remember to put a coaster under you glass,  and not to leave your magazines on the shiny glass topped table (that surely was meant for magazines like yours). As for the laundry machine,  that was 10 years old and still looked show room new,  though you took pride in helping with the laundry,  the dust of laundry soap that accumulated around the rubber gasket could not be tolerated.  Much as it says it the bible,  you discovered there was work required in the Garden Of Eden and you were to be one of its workers. If not thorn bushes would grow.  Such is the compromise of close relationships, a place where cowards cannot hide. Somewhere in this process deposits are made to your wealth account, though you will be unlikely to get a monthly statement.

To create beauty and harmony, in music, art or in a home requires dedication, practice and desire.   This imaginative calm world is an expression of an inner yearning for peace and harmony that seeks appreciation from its creator and her admirers. Those who demand such perfection in their surroundings  also give near perfection in much that they do.  They are often good partners in life  who choose not to simply float downstream with other random objects.

You can live by yourself or with others, it is a choice. I don’t believe anyone lives in magical harmony. Those who claim otherwise lie, or one spouse lives in denial of their dreams.  In the Judeo-Christian bible a women’s place is following her husband’s lead and his place is caring for her needs. It is the magic circle symbolized by a wedding ring.  It is the biblical recognition of the complexity of living together as husband and wife and a hint at how to achieve it.  In less intimate relationships, where less time and space is shared, the demands are less but not so dissimilar.  The children of people who choose not to float down stream with the current,  can move out and stay away or be part of and learn to grow.   As I see it, we can live alone or live in a compromise. Compromise is not a dirty word or a place where coward hide.

Janr Ssor

Cultural Fusion – Rebuilding America

Lost Hope In Changing America For The Better? Not so fast!

Talk to the last generation, if you are a baby boomer and they will often tell you that America is declining as Rome did and all countries must.  Talk to the new generation and they want to hang the corporate CEO’s and put our congressmen in jail,  a very widely accepted sentiment.  But Ceo’s,  Congressmen and other despised people have no fear of the common man, after all this is America and American’s are just as passive as the South Africans who watch their women raped and beaten and consider it a normal day. Now just to make sure, they will try to take away America’s guns, after all guns kill people, they say, its not that people kill with guns….at least it may be good to claim this if you are in congress or a CEO.  It does make me wonder if the same people who killed President Kennedy had anything to do with the killing MinuteManof school children in America…… sorry that must be a conspiracy theory. Just forget about it.

However are we really that passive and fearful of  death or the loss of our big screen TV’s from China that you can walk on us and our children’s futures?  Are we all so beaten and numb that we will give our children up to be burned live for the god,  Moloch?

I do not believe the American people are dead.  I believe they have been beaten into a state of submission much like that in the movie Roller Ball.  If  you have not seen this futuristic story from 1975,  do so now!  It is very current and very relevant.  But what does this have to do with Cultural Fusion and rebuilding America?

Without a bloody revolution or the decline and destruction of America, there may be another way to catalyze  change.  This plan  is perhaps the true story of the predicted Mayan “end” of the world, which our foolish media thought meant the sky would turn to fire and the oceans boil.  To see these possibilities through the eyes of others, look to the Mayan Zapatistas of  Mexico!  It is possible to build a new nation within and old one and we see it every day in child birth.  Grass roots self-empowerment,  for Americans who have been beaten into submission by the negativity of the news media, does not require guns, violence or the failed cruelty of those like the Taliban.  It requires only a vision of what can be and love for your children and their futures.

According to Luis Navarro, of the Guardian.co.ukZapatistas have two levels of government, corresponding in part to the territorial settlements of the indigenous peoples. One is the regional government, the Council of Good Governance. The other is the autonomous municipality, which acts on a local level. Within these municipalities, the social bases elect their authorities and govern themselves, administering justice and solving land conflicts.

In their territories, the rebels have made their health and education systems function without the federal and state governments; they have organised production and commercialization and maintain a standing military. They have solved the challenge of the generational replacement of military officers. As if these achievements were not enough, they have successfully tackled the menaces of drug-trafficking, public security and migration. 

The EZLN has joined the new game of Mexican politics without an invitation, and now sits at the table. Its resurgence will challenge, and possibly even change, some of the rules of this often dirty game.

If the the Zapatistas can hope to change Mexico, as they are doing, with a peaceful quiet process, how much more opportunity is there to rebuild a nation as powerful as America, with a people who have much more freedom to act. We have a diversity of cultures, traditions and religions to draw from, that free of an oppressive government and corporate control, can gift our children with a bright new future.  Kennedy said we put men on the moon,  50 years ago,  not because it was easy but because it was hard.  Without a challenge there is no use being alive…. you might as well die in front of your TV set with a mouth full of Twinkies.

Janr Ssor

 

Pain May Lead To Pleasure

This morning I read a great blog by Prego and The Loon.  You may want to read it!  It inspired me to share a comment with its author.  Then, I thought, it was worth sharing with everyone. So here it is:

In the Davinci Code, when the albino monk shoots Jacques Saunier who is now in terrible pain, he said “Pain Is Good.” It is a cruel comment from a psychopathic killer. But, in looking back on life, there can be truth in this saying when applied to painful events that do not kill you. My wife is much more “spiritual’ then I, my friends believe. I was not sure what that meant long ago. However, in times when I was feeling “pain” she did not, because of her faith in God. She just knew what was happening was for the best and would soon work out that way. Short days like that she called “Personal Growth Days.”

A few days ago, to see what this really means I looked back on my life and mentally reviewed the painful experiences I had, those that lasted months or even a few years. In the long run, they were all in one way or another positive! I was a bit amazed to note this. I was more amazed to note that had I been able to enjoy her attitude, I would not have had as much pain. She had shared some of those events with me, since our marriage, and in some of those experiences, I had made myself miserable while she enjoyed her life. It was true that in some cases, I was fighting the battle and she was cheering me on but, what if I had expected more positive as she did?

When we learn to roller skate, most of us fall a few times and if we are little people we may cry and feel physically and emotionally hurt by our failures. Eventually, if we persist, we learn to skate and are elated. The pain (sized by our expectations) led to joy.

One of my favorite peaces of classical music is Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. It is a triumphant celebration of mans intellectual achievement and conquest of nature (or so I am told and feel when I listen to it). Each experience in life is not what it is but what we make of it and take of it. My divorce led to my new marriage and my new marriage led to a much more fulfilling life (though not free of pain). Looking back it was the best thing that happened to me. But not on the day, I shut myself in the dark closet, sat in a corner on the floor and cried, wishing I was dead.
Janr