HicticMarch 13th, 2008
I’ve hesitated to blog lately because some serious poop has hit the fan of my life; my mother, diagnosed with malignant melanoma four years ago, is experiencing a recurrence. I’m in London right now, where she lives, cooking my butt off for her.
It is, as my friends in South Africa would say, “hectic”–only they pronounce it “hictic”. That’s their word for what we North Americans would call “intense”, “insane”, “screwed up”, and everything stressful in between. You see, I’ve never been this close or attached to someone with a terminal diagnosis–and, to the doctors, this is a “go home and get your affairs in order” affair. And even within the world of macrobiotics, malignant melanoma is a bitch. But not impossible. Nothing’s totally impossible in macrobiotics–in theory–and that’s what I love about it.
However, this is my mother. So my clear, objective, teacher’s eye is sometimes clouded by the cataract of fear. Fear of losing her. Of going through the seismic shift which that loss represents. Of crying my guts up for the rest of my life. You see, I am in the lucky, lucky club of people who genuinely and greedily love their mothers. She has given me the closest thing to unconditional love I think one human can give to another and I have had the good fortune to recognize the good fortune in that. So I don’t want her to go before she has to.
And all this feels like my career–my path–is being put to the test. But I need to be really careful as I say that. First of all, it’s ridiculously self-centered, and reveals a rigid, dualistic, perfectionist streak. It’s also fueled by my fear of being judged–by you, the readers I’ve promised all sorts of macro miracles to in my book. And believe me, MB is pretty freakin’ fantastic. I know, personally, at least two handfuls of people who have recovered from conditions considered terminal–using food alone. That’s real. And it totally blew my mind to witness those recoveries. However, I’ve also been around long enough to know that macrobiotic practice does not guarantee recovery–it simply gives nature a fighting chance to take back Her territory, if it’s not too late, and if that’s what’s meant to happen.
So I need to focus on the rainbow of benefits that macrobiotics brings, no matter what: It makes the individual eating the food much more peaceful than would often be the case. It gives perspective, and right now, is reminding us all of the yin and yang of things (my mother took care of me as a vulnerable child and I am tending to her in this time of vulnerability). It is reminding me and my mother that we are just energy, expressions of a much greater whole–and we can actually talk about that stuff, without laughing. It is keeping God in this house, not just through our thoughts, but through the food–its wholeness brings the oomph of the universe right into our cells.
MB philosophy tells me that everything has a front and a back. Until now, I only ever saw death as a horrible black door down a long hallway that everyone tried to avoid. I felt deeply repelled by it. But now, as this situation brings me closer to that door than I have ever been, I can see that there are lovely flowers springing up around it. I see how beautifully it’s carved. In fact, it’s looks very much like the door I came in through. I’m even learning that it can open without too much fear and with a helluva lot of love. Before, death was all back. Now I’m seeing some of its front.
But enough about death–my mother’s gonna live for a very long time!! You see, I’m also reading all the recent books about the Law of Attraction, The Secret, etc. and although my critical mind says things like “that stuff is so cheesy” (because it happens to be popular right now, and I’m a snob) and my arrogance says “I’m a hypnotist–I KNOW ALL THAT”, knowing it and living it are two totally different things. So we’re all applying the principles of vibrational healing, and this situation is ratcheting up my vibration like nothing has in a long time. Although macrobiotics provides the excellent fuel that can support my mothers innate ability to heal, we must surround her–and support in her–the attitudes and belief systems that drive her forward to a new, healthier, more integrated version of herself. And macrobiotics also backs that up: George Ohsawa identified three Categories of Cure: The first was Symptomatic, the second Educational, and the third he called Creative or Spiritual: “A life without fear or anxiety, a life of freedom, happiness, and justice–the realization of self. This is the medicine of the body, the mind and the soul”
Every morning my mother and I do a gratitude list together. We mention one another, our family, the wind, London, good food, kittens, my stepfather, our health, friends, good movies… the list goes on and on. As I lie with her in bed, holding her hand, I swear our spirits expand beyond ourselves, into the room, out onto the street, going as far as God-only-knows where. As our bodies relax and we merge into one being, I realize that I am fully alive.
Please visualize my mother in perfect, joyous health. Her name is Susan. And she’s a redhead.