October 23rd, 2008: This blog has focused on my medical events, because that’s what people asked about over and over. They wanted to know how I was feeling and what was my health status? I ask those questions myself when I’m talking with someone who’s ill. But during this week of medical lull, I’m realizing that there are many places that I go daily that are very much about how I’ve responded to having cancer, although they aren’t specifically medical.
One of those places is a healing center that I’ve built for myself. You won’t find it on Aerial Google, but I imagine it to be somewhere on the “Lost Coast” in Humboldt County. The home overlooks the ocean, and, I’m happy to report that the weather is almost always fabulous. To enter the property, I walk up to a large redwood and step through into a protected reality. Then, it’s a quick walk to the house. So far, I’ve spent very little time indoors. Usually, I head for the courtyard. First, I disrobe and slide into a tub lined with turquoise pebbles. The water washes away the goo of the day. I dry off and settle myself on a chaise of white marble that’s been shaped and polished so the surface feels soft. I relax. Through my feet, I can look across the shallow garden to a gate. Presently, there will be a knock on the gate. When I hear the knock, I ask, “Are you here to help heal me? Only healers may enter.” So far, the response has always been, “Yes. I am here to help heal you.” The door opens, and the healer enters. They take many forms: human, plant, animal, or sometimes it’s a spirit in a wind or aroma. Some days more than one healer appears, although they usually do their work one at a time.
Today, for example, I worked with a man from the Amazon basin named Huatil (pronounced: Hua-teal).He was very energetic and initially curious about the garden but immediately set to work carving a wooden replica of my pelvic cancer. He rubbed the wood model with a greenish paste from his hip pouch and waved it in the air so that the paste started to dry. Then, Huatil built a fire on a large river rock in the garden and slowly turned the carving over the flames as if he was searing meat. After a bit, he placed the wooden replica onto the flames, banked the fires with sawdust and poked at the burning piece until there was just a pile of embers. Finally, he brushed the embers into a sack, tied the sack with a string, smiled and, job complete, left through the garden gate.