Sunday, June 12, 2011

Proust and Doctors, Me and Doctors

My new meadow from May 2010, with bird feeder.  30 pines came down to put sunlight in my orchard.

 It is a marvelous thing that medicine should be almost as powerful as nature, should force the patient to stay in bed and, under pain of death, to continue a treatment. By this time, the artificially introduced disease has taken root, has become a secondary but true illness, the only difference being that natural diseases can get better, but never medical ones, for medicine knows nothing of the secrets of cure.

There is in our body a certain instinctive sense of what is good for us, as in our heart of what is right, which no doctor or medicine or theology can replace

We may acquire new brain cells and keep
all our cells and their telomeres happy
and thriving, if we can bear to consider
change, upset what is familiar, uproot
ourselves now and then for good reason,
be persuaded to try the new for the sake
of our oldest, truest, deepest knowledge
and conviction

If we build
our ordinary life so as to honor Her,
[our Muse] won’t be able to stay away.

If your conscience is clear and you remember
your own story, even after interruptions and
delays, the Muse will unlatch your back storm
door, left open to take in cool morning air,
stroke the cat rising to her touch, and settle
at your computer to add her own two cents
to every written word.

Once, when younger, we could fling
caution to the winds and cross those
boundaries of common sense and good
health: stay up all night, neglect our
teeth, luxuriate in rich desserts, be lazy
when we felt like it. Age teaches
consequences, the sooner the better.
Some gates are locked now, and we
venture out at our peril. Extra exertion
is possible if we rest well afterwards.
Our body will assist more than once in
reminding us with twinges in our knees,
toothaches, flashing lights where they
shouldn’t be, or indigestion after rich
food. Be grateful for these flashing
yellow hazard lights. Use your whole
self, think hard, work at those weeds,
plant more seeds, water burgeoning
fruit, relish fresh beets in butter,
blueberry pancakes swimming in syrup,
a fresh herb and onion omelet with
cheese. To be blunt, aging means dying,
a slow process in a healthy being–
inevitable, but nothing to fear, in fact.
Our whole life is one amazing process.
We arrive at fruit-bearing age, acquire
nourishment and water, the gardener’s
care and attentiveness, else no small
knobs that signal figs break forth as
summer pours down hot sun and enough
rain to give us hope. We guess at our
trees’ needs and our own. Tree or self,
the inward working lies hidden, but
we have healing light in us as well as
clouds that send no rain. "The body heals
itself," one doctor told me. If we let it.
If we calm our frightened heart and wait.
That Inner Circling Sun. XIX.
That Inner Circling Sun XII.
. –That Inner Circling Sun XI.
. –Proust, The Prisoner, p. 168.
–Marcel Proust, The Prisoner, translated by Carol Clark, p. 165

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