Thursday, June 25, 2009

Story - The Healer

I had a dream that ended badly. And thus the dream came to be rewritten.

I present to you ---- The Healer

The Healer Medic stood over the dying man, tired and frustrated. It had already been a long day by the time Anlar’s wife, Keeri, had pushed her husband through the doorway and said “You’re the Healer. Now heal him.”

She had expected the Medic to wave his hands and make it all better, as if by magic. She had not understood that the patient must be willing to do what is necessary. Kaylar’s skills required that the patient let go of the old way of doing things, the old way of thinking. It required a great deal of trust. Trust in the process, trust that things could be better, and trust in the unseen Energy.

But Anlar was a stubborn man and not very trusting. Suspicious of this new-fangled healing, he wanted something he could put his hands on. Wanted something he could see. Unfortunately his condition had not responded to the traditional methods of healing, and he had only come to Kaylar as a last ditch effort to save his life.

If Kaylar had been wise, he would have told them to go home and prepare for death. But at heart Kaylar was a kind, gentle man, who understood that sometimes fear of death can accomplish miracles. He could see the love that Keeri had for her life-mate, and the fear that she would lose him. As Keeri took her husband’s hand, the Medic wondered if the patient was finally willing to accept any healing. Huddled together for comfort, they looked at Kaylar with varying degrees of trust and hope.

The Medic had spent a great deal of time listening to one complaint after another from the ill man. Kaylar’s explanation of the process went unnoticed. As did his statement that Anlar would need to change his way of looking at the world. That the patient must begin to look for what was right with the world, one thing at a time, leaving behind complaints and negative habits.

The Healer knew that neither one of them had understood what had been said. They were grasping at straws, but in the end the couple had agreed to see the Listener, the next day. Kaylar could only affirm that the patient would accept and absorb enough Energy to make it through the night.

And thus he had begun preparing for the healing session, clearing his mind and bringing his focus back to the Energy.

It had started out as it always did, simply. Anlar laying under the clinic lights, covered with layers of blankets, shivering as his body began shutting down. His wife sitting nearby, wringing her hands, tears falling to her lap.

Kaylar stood beside the patient, feet spread, and Reached. Reached within himself opening the door to the Energy of Healing. As the Energy flooded up through him, it filled every nook and cranny, until it expanded out to encompass the entire room. Only then did it begin to flow into the patient, being instantly absorbed. Kaylar knew that this was not HIS Energy, but that it came from the Sacred Ground upon which the clinic had been built.

His hands began to move of their own volition, following the paths of light and dark that surrounded the patient. Pushing light into the darkness. The darkness was anything that was not supportive of love and life. The Healer unaware that it was long past sunset continued to allow the Energy to flow through his body. Using him as a conduit, filling but not consuming him.

The moon had risen at dusk, and by the time Kaylar felt that he was done, moonlight filled the room brightly through the roof window. The Healer backed away from his sleeping patient, finally allowing his hands to fall.

Still buzzing with Energy, he spoke quietly to Keeri. “I am done. You may have waited too long to bring him to me. But I have done what I can. All we can do now is wait and see whether he will allow the healing.”

Kaylar nodded toward the sleeping Anlar and added one last thing. “He must let go of his anger. Or he will die of it, and there is nothing that I can do. The Listeners have the skills to help with that, if your husband will see them. He agreed to speak with them, but the choice to speak from the heart is his. Always. But now if he is to recover he must sleep. I will return in the morning.” Silence descended as Kaylar left the room, broken only by the sound of labored breathing.

Keeri slid under the covers next to her husband, and taking his hand again she settled down to sleep. The two had been so long in each other’s company that her breathing had slid easily into rhythm with his as she drifted off. Soft, gentle, harmonious, comfortable. Unnoticed by the sleeping couple the moon slid across the sky.

Kaylar had returned to the clinic as the sun crept softly over the horizon. Standing in the doorway he relieved to note that Anlar’s breathing was no longer labored, and his color was much better. Crossing the room Kaylar Reached for the Energy and checked Anlar’s condition. Though the patient was still weak, there was no sign of the disease which had nearly taken this man’s life. And Kaylar breathed a deep sigh of relief for he knew that the patient would recover.

Anlar snapped awake at the sound, seeking the smiling eyes of the Healer. Remembering his promise Anlar said, “I will seek a Listener, for I have much to talk about. Much to release in honesty. It is time.”

Gayle McCain

Originally posted on Twitwall 05/11/09

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Overachiever or Just Really Bored?

My Psych major daughter and I were talking yesterday about some very interesting things that I’m doing right now, and what she said completely blew me away.

She said I was the smartest woman she knew. Why should that surprise me? Because I have not adjusted to the fact that she’s past the phase where parents get ‘stupid.’

When the children were little, they both thought I was brilliant. But as they become teenagers I, as their primary caregiver, became just too stupid to be believed any more. Because I had my kids so far apart, my daughter finally slipped out of that phase just as my son hit it this spring. Sigh.

I’ve had to bite my tongue for so long with my daughter that I forgot that I even had a tongue. I forgot that while I only got a bachelors degree (in general studies at that), I made extremely good grades in any class that interested me, the first college degree for any woman in my family, out to 2nd cousins. I forgot that I had a vocabulary that most PhD’s envy, along with the ability to explain things to small children as well as my friends who didn’t graduate from high school.

I forgot that I have raised two highly gifted children, constantly on the prowl for something that would keep them entertained, and enriched at the same time. That I was always just one step ahead of my kids, keeping them out of mischief and boredom. Raising children well takes extraordinary time and talent and I’ve forgotten that in the hubbub of daily living. There’s no time left (or perhaps I should say energy) at the end of a day to study higher math.

My kids and I often poured over my college anatomy texts to explain things like why cold and flu season starts right after Halloween. Or going to their father’s physics book, that I had never opened before, so we could talk about parabolas and why a snow saucer is that shape. We didn’t get into the calculus books until my daughter was in high school taking statistics. She was really mad that they wouldn’t let her use calculus to take the test.

One of the things that has contributed to not feeling brilliant anymore for every non-housewife that I met, approximately 80% of them had a conversation with me that went something like this:

“What do you do, Gayle?”
“I’m a housewife. I am spending my time raising my kids.”
“Oh,” he said, as his eyes glazed over and he hurried away to talk to someone more interesting, like the CPA.

What should I have said? “I am the housewife, who is spending 18 hours a day, chasing two brilliant children, teaching them college vocabulary before they can read. I am the woman who successfully, as president of our Homes Association, led the fight to keep out a big box store from our backyards. Speaking in front of county commissioners, television cameras and the public, and making it look easy. I am the woman who organized and ran classroom parties for both my children’s classes. Parties that these kids and the other volunteers are still talking about ten years later. The information I gathered about giving a children’s party for an organization is a ½ done eBook. I got bored.

Should I have said to these people who dismissed my ‘career’ as a housewife “I am a woman who built a warm and loving home, furnished on a shoe string from estate and garage sales. That my home was as nice or nicer than that of those of you who make twice what my (now ex-) husband makes. That I decorated it with things made lovingly with care, and quality, used these things for a while and gave them away, because it was time for new things. I am a woman who made sure my kids were fed, and cared for. And a surprising amount of time – your kids too, because you were too busy to care for your own children.” My home was only minimally messy. The yard was mowed, trees trimmed, gardens full of wild flowers and perennials, the dandelions dug out of the one acre yard by hand because I didn’t want to use chemicals on the land, that would flow into the nearby artesian spring. The only water for ½ a mile around that is still running in the dead of winter for the wildlife that the animals drink from. That I figured out what cleaners I could use that wouldn’t impact their water quality because our septic tank drained into the land from which the spring came.

I should have said “I am the woman who made those cookies you so gleefully snarfed up after the Xmas cookie party. I only made 90 dozen cookies this year. It was a slow year.” I am the woman who for her daughters 3 week classroom lesson in economics spent less than 30 dollars and (with her helping) made 9,000 deep fried Swedish Rosettes. A product that not only made a profit but made what was described as a staggering profit of about $500 which was donated to the school library, liquidating our entire stock, every single day for 15 days in a row. A school record that still stands. (While entertaining her younger brother with stories, word games, and building blocks.)

I am the woman who designed and built the main flowerbed for the school, organized the planting of 550 tulip and daffodil bulbs (one for every student-planted by the students themselves). Flowering bulbs that are still gracing the school 10 years later. I am the woman who learned how to use a database software package in an effort to combine the various different types of information previously kept in people’s heads for the school. The database structure is still being utilized today, 5 years after I handed it over to another mother. Clean simple elegant.

I am the woman who was always ready at a phone call to sit with a heartbroken friend, nurse ungrateful in-laws for weeks after surgery, cope with a mother with dementia, run a successful wrapping paper sale for the PTA sale three years in a row, attend most of the PTA meetings, listening and offering constructive suggestions. Teaching these chattering women how to keep a meeting running smoothly and moving forward, in spite of never being the president. And this does not include the things that I've forgotten that are really too minor to mention, but which make life infinitely easier for the people involved.

I am the overachiever who everybody misses when she’s gone. But whom makes everybody uncomfortable when she’s there, because she does so much, has her fingers on the pulse of the organization. Who knows where the bodies are buried, and who to go to for information.

I am the woman who, on top of everything else, insisted on going to choir every week and church on Sundays because I had to have an outlet that was just for me. Where I could learn something new (music) and receive spiritual sustenance too.

I didn’t get to be that overachiever by being stupid. I did it because I was easily bored. And to keep from being bored, I had to stay busy.

And even though I know better, I have felt unintelligent because I didn't have an alphabet after my name, and a career making more money than I knew how to spend. I've felt stupid for a long time. Made more so because last October, I suddenly couldn't add or subtract without using my fingers. I had to go get flash cards to relearn this simple skill. And I managed to hide this from everybody except one friend. And it only came out because I couldn't keep score when we played gin. And yet now I'm looking at simple matrix logic problems and saying to myself "when is he going to get to something new?"

I KNOW that I couldn’t have done all of those things if I’d been just an ordinary woman, it still surprised me when my daughter recognizes that not only am I an extraordinary mother, but that

I am

the smartest woman she knows.

I am !


Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Value of Comments

You came here because someone recommended my writing. It might have even been... me. And you will diligently read through what I have to say. Thank you.

But many of you have websites or blogs of your own, and are wondering how on earth to drive traffic to them, because you have something to say. Here's how:

When you read somebody's blog that you like - leave a comment and leave your contact info. (And yes this seems just a smidge like leaving your 'phone number' on a bathroom wall. Get over it.)

If a reader likes what you said in your comment will copy/paste your contact info into their browser, following you back to your site. And voila, you have a hit, and everybody wins.

What about those readers that are just readers, have no website and have no need to drive traffic anywhere? Please leave a comment anyway. Why?

Because it takes courage to put yourself and your writing out onto the superhighway of the WWW. Because writers are often concerned about whether they're making any sense, your comments help them refine their message. And this is true whether they're writing about string theory or writer's block, the benefits of organic produce or organic underwear. Because if we care enough to publish it in a blog, we are a writer.

I also know that sometimes you don't feel like you can add any wisdom to what has already been said. The appropriate comment in that place is:

"Thanks. I liked it."

And so I invite you to comment. Leave your URL so that we can follow you back to your 'house' and read what you have to say.

Gayle McCain (coming soon)