Thursday, 19 July 2012
shape-shifting for healing
She reminded me of Stella. I guess that was why I was attracted to her. Maybe I was just on the rebound. They could have been sisters. I don’t normally chat people up in
. I haven’t chatted anyone up at all since
college so I’m out of practice anyway.
We were both looking at Botticelli’s Mars and Venus, on loan to the Uffizi
in Art Galleries
from our National Gallery... Mars, God
of war is sleeping. Florence
“Look how calmly Venus, Love, watches over him,” she said, turning towards me.
“She knows that as long as he is safe with her she will triumph in the world and they will make love not war.” She laughed, not in a flirtatious way but with pleasure at the idea it seemed to me.
“Long may he sleep?” I said. “It looks very inviting - I haven’t been sleeping well recently.” She looked concerned.
“Is it those noisy vespas keeping you awake? They never seem to leave the streets do they?”
“No, a broken heart” I blurted. She had that listening look and my story wanted hearing.
“Sorry” I said, “Bit heavy.”
“You are in good company here,” she said. “Look at these stories - Sampson here, deceived by Delilah, throwing the stone columns down in his anger - Agamemnon chasing his lost Helen, landing his fleet at Troy, furious, jilted, jealous, avenging. You see love and war are never far from each other.
“Which is your favourite painting?” I asked. I wanted her to keep talking to cover my embarrassment with her melodic voice - that accent - was it Welsh? No, a bit edgier, not Scots, must be
lilt - Stella’s part of the world. I had
come to North West
for a break and wham, the same voice greets me.
She was walking over to the early renaissance section. “Renaissance means birth, rebirth,” she said. “I’m looking forward to that. In fact, I try to be reborn every day. There’s always something new about the world to fall in love with. Now, here it is.”
The painting was of an angel… beautiful wings… and a girl who looks overcome… either the early renaissance weren’t very good at arrested movement yet, or maybe it was one of those rare moments in life which is of such overwhelming importance that it seems to go on forever.
“The annunciation by Fra Angelico” she said.
Wistfully I thought that, she, Mary, has just been told that she is about to get, without even trying, the life experience that Stella and I had been searching for a way to make possible all this time, with the result that in wanting to take our relationship to the level of sharing parenthood we had stopped being able to share – each isolated by grief and obsession.
“Mary” she said, “the most important woman in the destiny of the world since Eve, but whereas Eve is all about temptation and mortality, Mary is about innocence, virtue and immortality. But their roles are very similar: To saddle a man with a heavy responsibility - procreation.
As a bloke who had rejected the idea of family as way too much heavy responsibility, and then, being up for trying, felt destroyed – not by failing, but by not being able to take the pain of failing away from Stella, this was a lot to take in. I could see in Mary’s face what I saw in Stella’s when she was going through the IVF - hope, fear, and so much intensity I found it frightening and retreated from the subject so that we could no longer share the pain and so it sent her mad.
“Would you like a cappuccino, um, or an ice cream?” was all I could manage. She looked as though the painting was giving her, too, more thoughts than she could handle.
“Yeah, lets do that café thing!” she said and we walked out into the sun together.
We spent the rest of the day walking the cobbled streets together. She came to
often when she was in the rag trade she said, and knew some cool hidden places
- a little courtyard inside a side-street hotel with the most beautiful garden,
a perfect, classical pool and fountain, and great Florence
tortellini - and a flea market where she found, after rummaging and bargaining, a copper chandelier dripping crystal tears. “I’ll hang it in the garden at home”, she said. “Very Miss Haversham. That way the copper will turn that beautiful verigris green.” She savoured small pleasures like a cat, I thought, and had the same self sufficient and slightly distant air, especially when, after prosecco and wine with dinner I tried to kiss her as we looked down at the Duomo and the river from where David stands, arrogant and vulnerable in his naked beauty.
“Oh, you’re nice”, she said, “but I make it a rule to kiss and tell that I don’t do relationships, not sexual ones - too complicated, too second chakra darling!” She laughed. “I’m trying to energise my higher centres - use my time and energy to just be. I like you. I don’t mind just being with you. It’s a pleasurable meditation but if we bring things down to sex - well”, she sighed, “all that stuff about love and lust and commitment and babies”, and here she choked, “I still can’t say that word, you see I’m infertile and I find that again and again that throws me on my own outside so many people’s hopes and dreams and passions and so I find it less painful not to go there.”
She laid her head on my shoulder and we sat together in a moonlight meditation on dreams, hopeless or otherwise, and I realised that what hurt her so much not to have the chance of - I had had the chance of - and through fear - let go. “Thank you, Luna, for sharing your secret with me. I think I’m going to find a girl - she’s like you a lot - and get down and dirty doing some second chakra stuff with her - love and lust and if possible babies. I don’t want to be alone. I’m not strong and secure in myself as you. I need a companion and I’m going to grow up enough to try to be there, all there, for someone I love.” She squeezed my hand. “Well done you”, and tears welled in her eyes, “perhaps I could stop escaping as well and find out how I’m going to play this hand I have. As an artist I find meditation appealing in its solitude but I can’t stay dreaming on the mountain. I want to come down and change the world - redesign it. And for that you have to interact. Trouble is, the way most women do that is not available for me. I need another way to affect the next generation than giving them boiled egg and soldiers.”
“You are a healer”, I said, “You have shown me things today. How to look, how to share - You go on just being. You are a gift to the world in yourself. Don’t hide your light - switch on that chandelier in a special place and invite people in to see what you see. That’s what artists do - it’s a vision thing.”
“I just reflect”, she said, “I hold up a mirror for you to see, reflected back what is already inside you. That’s what artists do - provide an image for you to reflect on. You bring your eyes, your heart, your experience to it. You bring it alive when you pay attention to it. The observer does affect the experiment. I am Luna. I have no light of my own. That silvery moonlight as we call it, is sunlight, second-hand. The moon is a cold thing, waxing and waning in borrowed light, and a satellite, destined to move round and round orbiting another body - and - do you realise - slowly getting further away, as the universe expands, that moon goddess who controls all our tidal surgings is leaving us. It’s symbolic of the increasing distance in relationships, as our universe gets older and colder.” She shivered and I pulled her close and put my mouth on hers and this time she kissed me warmly and we shared the connection of breath and moisture and being, for a moment in time.
Dirk returned thoughtful and in agreement. We are so lucky that we have been travelling at the same pace through all of this. I have been supported every step of the way, and grieved with. The one time I did conceive for six weeks, I saw from the tears rolling down his face as he looked at the monitor to see whether one or two hearts were beating and saw none - I knew it was over, and loved him more than ever for minding as much as I did.
We lie wound up in each other and in a quilt covered with hair from the snoring dog who lies across our feet. We are talking about a Vietnamese film we watched last night and about the Buddist belief in karma.
“What is my lesson, that it was written so clear on my biology from day one that I had no eggs? That has to be destiny.” His eyes, six inches from mine smile love. “It is so you can look after other people. You do. You help so many people. She’s a nice girl.”
I felt lousy with the hot flushes, tried HRT, felt worse.
Dr Jean and I were suspicious of this factory approach to hormones – first the Pill, then HRT, all synthetic hormones dominating this very finely tuned system of the female body – what was this doing to Stella’s health and emotions?
Dr Jean Foster.
Chapter 3.2. How does this feel for the individual?
“- Pressure of a personality or group on an individual; a dominant or possessive parent, friend or marriage partner; and certainly where there is intolerant religious dominance.
- Pressure of circumstance or work such as that suffered by people who have worked to exhaustion point over a period of time, and seem to be incapable of recuperation,
- Pressure in adults of continued ill health or slow recovery after recurrent or severe infection... glandular fever... post viral syndrome... I always start by using Carcinosin, but add Folliculinum if... (Carcinosin) does not achieve a lasting response.’ (Dorothy Cooper).”
There are parallels between adolescence and menopause; they are both time of redefining our selves and times of major hormonal changes. The way our selves are tied up with our hormones and vice-a-versa can bring us challenges all through our adult lives. I feel as women our flexibility, our ability to operate on many different levels is due to the flexibility born of dealing with constantly shifting hormones which directly relate to the way we experience the world. Puberty and menopause mark two of the biggest transitions. They may appear similar in display and lead to different places. ‘Emotional displays, anxiety, tears, depression, sexual problems, instability and loss of concentration: at the menopause, many women find these long forgotten echoes of their adolescent selves. At both times, these problems are created by the dramatic change in hormone production. Yet unlike the adolescent who anticipates a rewarding womanhood, the menopausal woman sees only the inevitability of old age waiting her...’ as one author mused gloomily. This may be your truth, it may be society’s view, and these are issues we women have to wrestle with as our role is still so closely defined in the context of our biology.
At the time when we start producing sex hormones we are receiving conflicting messages around our sexuality and relationships. Natural urges to find a mate and reproduce the species are strong. Our biological blueprint for our species is to mate within committed relationships, yet children are maturing physically at a young age within a society which does not encourage early marriage but approves other choices like education and career, and indeed these young people have not yet gained the emotional maturity to make a commitment. Sex is seen as inevitable, so schools provide education on the biology and on contraception, and the state pays for contraception, eager to guard against teenage pregnancy and venereal disease. This process does not include learning about the emotional impact of becoming sexually active.
Mixed messages can also be given on contraception; my biology teacher clearly thought it was a dirty word, along with VD and sex in general. Contraception has historically been a difficult issue for the authorities; in 1873 Congress passed a law prohibiting the mailing across state frontiers of obscene material - birth control information and devices were specifically defined as ‘obscene’. In 1962 it was still forbidden in the
local authority family planning clinics. Abortion is illegal in UK .
Add to these confusing messages from authority figures the question of
religion; the Catholic Church opposes the pill and abortion. This confused
situation leads to at the end of the 20th century, a church supporting a 12
year old having a child. Other countries have designed special chemical
solutions to their cultural issues with fertility: the ‘tricycle’ Pill reduces
the frequency of menstruation (still considered unclean in many parts of the
world) to four times a year. There are injections with a six month
contraceptive effect, not considered safe by most European countries; they have
been in large scale use in Northern Ireland
for more than 10 years. Thailand
So we grow up among conflicting messages, we are old enough to have sex, but not to form lasting relationships. The permissive society is the norm. A girl may have several sexual relationships and experience emotional pain. She may resolve this dilemma by retaining the sex but avoiding the intimacy. Her attitude may become harder, more promiscuous, more masculine and aggressive in nature. Acceptance of a situation which causes emotional pain can lead to loss of self-esteem and greater dependence on peer approval. Problems like anorexia and drug addiction can arise. Illnesses like Glandular Fever and ME can provide an escape route by making that dependency real and allowing a return to a childlike state. The periods may stop or become very painful reflecting the young woman’s fear and anxiety around her developing maturity. Cysts may develop manifesting deep hurt and pain.
A girl may be prescribed the pill at the onset of her periods, as a contraceptive, or even to ‘help’ with painful or profuse periods, so at a time when their bodies often have difficulty adjusting to the onset of adult hormones a girl may be rushed through her own body’s chosen pace of ripening, and on to synthetic hormones which may cause problems especially at this age of susceptibility to dis-ease.
‘Depression can be a fatal side effect of the pill.’ Research workers report dramatic rises in self-injury with the greatest increases occurring in females aged between 15 and 30, with the steepest increases in the 15 to 19 age group. Girls in this group have been pressurised into taking the pill for its reliability and convenience. The
FPA study found pill users were four
times more likely to be admitted to hospital for attempting suicide than women
who used the diaphragm. In Oxford England
accidental poisonings and undetermined deaths increased 11 fold among males
aged 15 to 19 but 22 times in young women since 1960. I am not suggesting that
the only difference between these two groups is that young women often take the
pill, these statistics are indicative of the tremendous social pressures on
young people and particularly young women. Wales
In a woman younger than 40 problems with menstruation, cramps, and PMS are classic indications that she is in some kind of conflict with being a woman, with her role in the tribe, and with tribal expectations of her. Most problems with bleeding and irregular periods frequently come from having too much emotional stress combined with the belief that one has no power over one’s life choices, that one’s choices are controlled by others. Bleeding abnormalities are often exacerbated when a woman internalises confusing signals from her family or society about her own sexual pleasure and sexual needs. For instance, a woman may desire sexual pleasure but feel guilty about it or be unable to ask directly for it. She may not even be conscious of this inner conflict. Tubal problems and problems with fertility are centred on a woman’s “inner child”, while the tubes themselves are representative of unhealed childhood wounds or unused energy. The flow of eggs can be blocked because (she feels) not old or nurtured enough... one part of a woman may remain in pre-puberty due to her own unconscious indecision about her readiness to produce life, if on some level, she’s not out of the egg herself.’’
PMS is considered by some feminists as the only socially acceptable expression of the anger that many women feel. The monthly cycle brings these women around repeatedly to a point where they discharge their anger and emotions, often demonstrating physically how angry they feel. Is this hormonal in-balance, requiring treatment with progesterone, hysterical behaviour requiring removal of the ‘hyster’ the womb, or our hormones trying to create balance by exhibiting the dark side which is an unacceptable side of woman in society. Nature may try to redress a drought with a flood; indeed she is increasingly doing so. What happens to these women when their feelings are buried with Prozac? Women can be turned into what society terms ‘lunatics’ at a phase of their monthly cycle, as they wax and wane in time with the moon, and monthly turn their dark side to face the world. At this time their husbands cannot understand them nor they he as he is personified in the male god the sun, from whom their face is turned away, as they look inside themselves and see their anger and their hurt. This wilder side lives on through the month in their psyche and is lived through their dreams; vivid, intense, disturbing, amorous, euphoric...
This picture is reminiscent of the virgin huntress goddess Artemis who was the twin sister of Apollo, a sun God; ‘Antiquity explained Artemis as a personification of the Moon which roams in the mountains... Her most famous shrine in the Greek world was the one at
where she was integrated with a very ancient Asiatic fertility goddess.’
In ‘Luna: a proving’ King and Lawrence discuss the legend her setting her dogs
on Actaeon who saw her naked; ‘One can... see in this allegory how the moon
guides the powerful forces of nature where they are well regulated and can be
seen as amoral in the kingdoms of nature (the rugged and wild home of Artemis),
but that when the human being is exposed to these forces within himself in an
unmodified and unsuppressed fashion, their power can over-rule his as yet
immature faculties of reason and mortality. Strong lunar forces in the psyche,
untempered by social morality and reason, can be seen as socially destructive,
a theme which is also suggested in the were-wolf stories.’ Ephesus
The Moon is associated with the water element and therefore to the person who experiences life through feeling as opposed to intellect, intuition or sensation. Such an individual has to suppress their instinctive behaviour to survive in our society and at certain times of the cycle this feeling flows out like a tide, often accompanied by a flood of tears.
The moon is a strong force; beings as yet unborn respond to its energy, as midwife and homoeopath Ms Tibble observed that clusters of births happen around the full and new moon. Think of the individual who drowns them self in hurtful protest, looses energy and slides into apathy and total detachment from the world, replacing the creative side of the fertility cycle (the new moon) with a total blank (the shadow moon).... “feeling a silence between me and the outside world... like looking through a telescope and seeing what I’m focusing on, not worrying about anything else.” - To me that is like an image of a ray of moonlight, a cool small pool of light… ‘we don’t grieve until it is all gone, we grieve until we’ve satisfied a need to discharge an energy, then we are free to turn away from the place inside us that houses grief’; the bleed in tune with the moon’s cycle as we shed an un-incarnated ovum is the physical manifestation of the natural discharge of this grief. Lawrence and King concluded that there was a theme of inner sensitivity with a deficiency of environmental awareness; it evokes for me a heightened inner seeing like I feel in the dark; a compensating for being out of self-balance by turning away from the male sun god’s world towards a hidden feminine life with a resulting sensation of disorientation when the light is switched on.
The danger of HRT, the Pill or tranquilisers as a solution to our problems is that these drugs suppress the language of our bodies as they spell out to us that we need to change something in our lives to regain a healthy equilibrium. For example there may be aspects of a mid-life woman’s reality that do need changing, an unhappy relationship, boredom with her role in the family or in her work; this can be a time of creative solutions which will resolve her problem, but if she is diverted by society and by medicine in particular to thinking her dissatisfaction is a symptom of the menopause she may not take the right action, just pills. Dr Grant likens HRT which delivers a constant level of oestrogen is like having a car stuck in a single gear, when our bodies are designed to adjust our hormone levels constantly to support our needs at any moment. The symptoms are there for a reason; for example hot flushes at the menopause are suggested by some to be releases of sexual energy, hence their other name of power surges. Does a woman on HRT experience post-menopausal zest - the energy that comes from being released from some of adulthood’s burdens and enjoying living in today, or does the artificial continuation of the monthly bleed leave her stuck in the mind-set of mid-life, unable to let go and progress ?
Women are physical examples of the on-going life pattern becoming matter... women’s life cycle expresses a natural progression of sexual energy. For most women... kundalini, or sexual-spiritual energy, begins to rise naturally around the age of forty. As it rises it activates the chakras through which it passes. Any unfinished business residing in the lower chakras will make itself known during the pre-menopausal and menopausal years. .. blocked kundalini energy or unused sexual juice, unused creative energy or creative conflicts may also be expressed as hot flashes.
There is only my voice now.
Stella is gone - she couldn't face going on. Oh, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.
At least I got to meet her, to know her, even to help her, in some way to make up for some of the damage I had done with my obsessive need to have her procreate, to give me another route out into the world. That was important for me.
When I said good bye to Dirk in
he took my
business card. Florence
He needed to be with her and accepted that she was still grieving for the incomplete family she felt they were. He was concerned that trying and failing had nearly destroyed her, but he wanted to be with her and she was fixed in this grief for being a mother and in some way this was what he wanted too, to be with Stella and try to make it right . He told me this over the phone when he rang to explain that although they had decided to make things work and put themselves first Stella was constantly feeling nauseous and the HRT seemed to be causing a lot of anger and violent mood swings. Could homeopathy help? Could I see Stella and help support her body? He asked - Dirk felt that Stella was physically and emotionally exhausted.
I said I would love to see her, I was sure homeopathy could help, I had had good results helping other women get their hormones balanced. You see it’s not just about chemicals. What makes the body's juices flow if not the heart?
So Stella rings the doorbell of my practice. I run down the stairs past Dr Foster’s door where I hire this upstairs room 3 days a week. my mobile phone is still jammed to my ear - someone's kid is teething - as I open the door, there am I standing on the doorstep - looking at myself, another version of me, someone with the same biological challenges I have been working with for all my life - for God knows how many lives - trying to work out the karma of being a woman who can't create life. I smile and beckon, advise Chamomilla to the mother with the angry teethy baby on the phone and walk up the stairs with Stella thinking that if like does heal like she could have come nowhere better than to me.
How can I help? I ask - I don't know how much she knows I know and I want to hear from her in her own words anyhow - that's how I work my art - spotting patterns in how she feels and behaves which are similar to a life pattern as expressed by another living thing - a plant, an animal, a disease organism, a mineral - yes I have come to believe that our whole universe is intelligent in the way it creates form and energy - and so in some way alive.
She talks about how she is feeling now. The awful dreams of these skinny embryos, all arms and transparent jelly like eggs who she sees drying under the hot lights of a room which I feel she has constructed from her unconscious experience of an operating theatre. Her anxiety about the embryos who are in the freezer - what that does to something which may live to be in a dark desiccating cold. She is in a state of terror, her imagination running riot I see, her creative imagination feeding on these images in a way which is destructive for her energy which is being burnt up furiously. She needs some walls around her self - some boundaries to stop her feeling so acutely the energy of these babies she has lost. What element - I reflect - to myself has this capacity to inhabit any space, any situation, without protecting itself so that it becomes diffuse and exhausted as the imagination continues to burn so bright it sears. I sent her away promising to send a remedy within the week, made an appointment to see her again in a few weeks and switched my computer on to research my favourite materia medicas to check my intuition that some Phosphorus would help calm and centre her.
When I saw Stella a few weeks later the nightmares had gone and she had lost that look like she wasn't of this world - like you could look through her, she had more colour and her energy seemed more solid.
“How can I help?” I asked once we had established that she felt better.
Explained that she was angry with her body
That it had failed her
Stopped her being a proper woman
Made her feel an outsider
Not able to fit with the feminine image which was her ideal
Her hopes of being a whole, giving mother like her own mum
So she felt a shell
With nothing real inside, a lie
It was important to her to look like a woman, dress attractively like one of those yummy mummies - but they glowed with energy and purpose, she said, whereas she had nothing inside her now
Just something broken
An ache where love used to be
She felt so tired, everything took her so long, and she was doing very little
She felt unable to do anything except alternately grieve and hope for her dream, she still had an impossible fantasy of falling pregnant.
She felt lonely for the person she used to be
The person she looked for in the mirror and couldn't find.
I asked how she spent her days…
She had been asked to contribute some work to a friend's exhibition, using their paper made from plants
She had been trying to make some papier-mâché bowls, but she kept dropping them and the glass bowls she had been using as moulds had smashed.
She showed me a splinter in her finger and described how Dirk had come home last night from work to find her crawling around the floor obsessing about picking up every little shard and sparkle of glass in case it should hurt the baby, her fingers bleeding from sweeping the floor with her hands.
Dirk had got the Hoover out and reminded her there was no immediate worry about a baby, while she pretended that she had only broken one of the bowls they had had as wedding presents while she knew she had smashed 3.
“I don't know why I tell these silly lies - I just don't want to be seen as a complete waste of time when I’ve failed to do anything useful like make dinner, and also failed to do the creative work I feel could help me feel better about myself if only I could get it done, which I can't seem able to. I want to be seen as a capable person, a worker, wife, lover and mother.”
My heart went out to Stella, she did want to move forward but she was really stuck in this place she had been in far too long, she needed a constitutional remedy. I said I’d send something via the homeopathic pharmacy and arranged to speak with her in 2 weeks.
Looking at my books that night I was struck by how slow and fragile Stella's energy felt and how the image of the glass bowl seemed to sum up so many things about her. She seemed shattered and broken, unable to get her energy back together. She was using the little energy she had to reflect an image of attractiveness while she was looking for her self in the glass and not finding what she had lost. She was inflexible like glass - sticking to a fixed idea about her future and unable to be flexible. she was very clearly hurting herself, even physically with the splinter, in her fixity about the dream of the baby, obsessing about details with a gritty determination rather than feeding herself with what she needed.
The rubrics I chose in my repertory were:
hunts for pins
As these seemed to sum up the shell her energy was engaged in creating around herself which was intended to protect her but was stopping her moving on.
I looked in the materia medica at what homeopaths had to say about Silica, which came up in all the rubrics.
I had found Silica a useful remedy for my friends from the fashion world who put so much energy into their image as it has so many states, many of which reflect and present a beautiful image - quartz, glass, silicone
It is hard and brittle; flint, given to splitting and forming 2sided structures, glass again, or small strong structures, sand, grit… silica is one of the most plentiful minerals available to life but has been little used by life forms as it is slow forming and inflexible, although some plants and insects use it's strength it makes a restrictive exoskeleton not useful for fast-growing flexible mammals, birds, reptiles.
Many remedy states lose sight of their destiny and become fixed, but the depression of silica has been analysed as loneliness for the self itself, like an outgrown exoskeleton the body and mind is left knowing that the soul has gone, and unless it can be found, life is over.
When Stella rang me 2 weeks later it was to say she was feeling better - she had had a rotten flu (a detox I thought) but was making some cards from the plant papers with pressed snowdrops as part of the images.
Snowdrops - the first sign of new life after the winter and a plant that uses a lot of silica to give it the rigidity and strength to push its leaves through the frozen ground.
Stella’s recovery had a surprising outcome, I never know what to expect from healing as health means movement and can take your patients away in unexpected directions... this is not a job where you expect satisfied customers to come back - they are too busy getting on with their lives. In Stella’s case her energy took her to a retreat; she accepted that a baby wasn't going to happen for her and felt the answer was to study Buddhism to try to come to terms with not needing to leave the self in the world in some way either as a mother or as an artist. She loved Dirk, she told me, but felt he needed the right to be a father and as that could not happen with her she was leaving him and - under the rules of the Buddhist retreat could not be contacted - would renounce her ties to the world.
As Stella moved on to a more spiritual state, scarcely present in the space she found it too painful to inhabit, my energy grew more physical... I noticed subtle changes in our body… the breasts flattened, waist widened, hairs grew in new places on legs and around nipples which I found fascinating as I spread out and occupied my space.
Like heals like. Nature is there. She speaks her language in all of us. We are all patterns. She makes us show our nature in every growth of our body. Truth will out.
In the moment I took the Pill I doubled: Luna thought I had stopped listening to her but in truth she went from being a part of me to become an outside voice – trapped in my own reality I could hear her like a mysterious conversation on a crossed line, she was not making sense to me and I tuned out. Read your Steven Hawkins for the background. In a void energy is borrowed from the future to create matter and anti-matter which appear in the vacuum for an instant – and spontaneously destruct. Glimpses of our future self, our doppelganger, karma, destiny… division and creation, reproduction and population - or fusing to one, one self, one soul, Gaia, one planet.
Womb-twins, each one alone, lonely for our soul-mate. Observing the world which is other. Everything is made from quarks and electrons, we are patterns of energy. When I stand on this mountain we have the same building blocks. Energy has made a mountain and an intelligent being to observe the mountain. We move in different time frames. A mountain’s glaciers move slowly. To his granite and ice and gnarled old trees my life is as brief as the storms which rage around him for a winter’s night then disappear with the dawn.
My destiny; biology is destiny – see the seed and you know the tree… the tree shows its pattern in every leaf it grows, patterns of energy, everything dances. A scientist said, when we describe the atom language is poetry;
The heart is a foxglove to embrace the bee, digitalis, makes your heart stop…
The womb is a daisy letting fall seed to grow a child, bellis perenis for our deep hurt in our soft insides.
The Pill… Designed to free the flower people for free love, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, in my polluted self the drug tricks my body into believing I am permanently pregnant. My moon side comes to the fore. The planet, which governs our fertile tides, gets all confused. My moon sign is Taurus; the cow locked in a stall and fed oestrogen to fatten her up. Her milk made available for man artificially. The sweetness of sac-lac - milk-sugar - the coffee creamer in a plastic UHT pot, in the free cup at the Mercedes garage. The pliant blonde in the cabriolet. Bridget Jones with Hugh Grant eternally available. Sense has gone out of the window and passion rises. The cow is put out to grass in the field. The udders grow heavy and unappealing but feed the world. Still the family dream is unavailable. The cow calls for her calf castrated, aborted or killed before it can reproduce. Kept in a box for blonde veal, while she lows with pain in her field with the pain of nipples which are no longer sucked, now udders to feed the milk mountain which Africa can’t drink from or our men will miss out on the prison of company life/unemployment handouts/handouts from Oxfam according to the continent which bore you. We are bored and the fat cats lap the cream.
So my Taurean moon took me comfort shopping. The milk round got me a job at the big corporate money machine. So now I’m the childless rich lady who tries to entice children into her garden with pretty things. Looks like destiny wrote the script either way. I find myself alone, broken hearted, childless and yearning in the middle of life. My shell has been crushed under the giant foot and I feel scattered. How do I get my pattern, my vitality, my life force back together again? I hide in my woods or my garden, dreaming of other lives, my children’s lives. The children I can’t have because I was born with no eggs. It has taken me half my life to realise that the basic need in every woman has to double, triple, square her-self into seedlings to water and tend and grow. My howling cry to the moon for children cannot be answered. My womb is not fertile.
But I am creative. I can still water seedlings. I parent my own child within. And something does grow in my creative space. A bowl made of torn paper when I was too angry to paint and wanted to show the world I could put my fragments of shell back together again so my ideas could once more hold water. Then a painting of the sea, the mother of all of use - la mer, la mere - from where we crawled from our shells to find a place to breed safe from the big fish and felt the spark of electricity as we earthed with the fertile land and rooted in the soil and grew tall as trees and beautiful as flowers. I am a flower, fragile and delicate, but strong. I can push through anything hard as the icy ground of the big freeze and flower, my delicate scent attracting the bees out of their houses, all girls together as the snowdrop shows her cool, delicate, beauty to anyone who peers into the shadows.
Luna - the dark side of the moon... she is always there; completes my whole. Man needs the earth and makes a voyage around her, only landing on the moon does he see the perfect whole of the earth bathed in sunshine. Moon, earth, sun, a perfectly balanced dance. Man, woman, god, a triad made in heaven. An eternal dance but one that is changing. The moon is moving away from the earth by inches every year. Women don’t want just to orbit their man. They want to travel. To see the universe for themselves. But that fragile moon keeps our tides washing the earth. Lapping the feet of
man-hat-on. Washing the air of Manhattan Liverpool - a pool to live by. Cleaning with rain the chimneys of Tate’s and
energizing with ozone the dreams of Lennon, Bainbridge and the baby
boomers. That’s me. The babies of the baby boom who find
ourselves so fucked by the world that our fucking is sterile. That our fathers so fucked the world that it
already heaves with children, unwanted, women poor and abused, and
working. To husband means to care for
and protect, or to farm and propagate this land with her produce, which now
sucks her udders dry until she will wash us away with her tears.
The rainbow was God’s promise- never again the flood, but God is only as good as any healer (doctors practice and patients are patient) and in the end the physician has to heal herself. And we all need to see the shadow side to be whole again. We can’t just seek the light, the blonde, the fair, the just; we also have the fallen angel, who was too proud, and fell to earth, the seedling, man, from whose rib woman came, to nag him, prodding in the ribs, and tickle his ribs to laughter and ecstasy of companionship, love and sex. Woman, the lioness, to hunt, butcher, and suckle and play with the cubs while the sleepy lion on a full belly and tired loins keeps one eye open on his pride. Pride comes before a fall and I’ll be the man who fell to earth.
Despite all the days of wishing myself dead in my sleep I will delight when the sun dawns on this windy night when I am howling for my Luna moon; Auntie Barking - at the blue moon. I haven’t gone away. I am hiding in a secret space inside Luna, in my old body. I love this place. I’m healing my broken heart with that love. I have the perception to see the vision of a world which gives peace a chance and I am making peace with myself. Luna sleeps tonight. Sleep then - jump!
“In other words she might as well be dead,” said Dirk who had come to see me clearly sad and furious with me at my part, as he saw it, in Stella leaving after he had been through so much crap to give her what she wanted.
This was no basis to start a therapeutic relationship - I was too much involved and felt that involvement sticking to me like something I needed.
It is a lonely job being a homeopath…
although you learn lessons all the time about yourself from your practice, from the patient's point of view it is all about them so it's not a place to make friends or lovers in the consulting room and a lonely Dirk was something I had found very attractive in Italy all that time ago. I said I couldn’t see him again as a therapist, said goodbye and suggested a colleague for Dirk to get support from if he was looking for that, then, my conscience clear at last caught my courage to ask - could we meet for a drink?
The two bodies were specks on the landscape; moving along on parallel lines, occasionally coming together to support each other over a rock, a fallen tree. At last they stood on the summit. They looked down towards the sea in the distance. She knotted a silk scarf against the wind, at her throat; he moved behind her and crossed his arms encircling her. “Look, you can see right back to where we started... how far we’ve come.”
And I watched from inside the skin I’d traded for an interior space, relieved from passion, want, need, hunger, hormones, ego, visibility, love and pain.
 Dorothy Cooper, British Homoeopathic Journal, April 1990.
 Modern Medicine, 1976.
 Grant, The Bitter Pill, 1985.
 Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, 1996.
 In the King/Lawrence study women experienced dryness of normal discharges.
 There was a masculine feminine issue - the males experiencing more apathy/disconnected (perhaps these were not unusual feelings for the women), and the women alone experiencing the sensitivity and tears (do men not have this susceptibility?).