Mishaps of Medicine

Whistler | Corte del Paradiso

Mishaps of Medicine

I doctor every part of my life. Left to my own devices, I would surely die. Intending to boost my immunity with more, moRE, MORE, or much better off, I participated in four, long processes of bad science. My credible nursing professors had warned us proteges against this pseudo science, but when I heard the word, “cure,” I was there with high hopes.

Helping in her own special way, the therapist waved her wand up and down over my magnetized material. My left hand rested on this palm shaped instrument, much like a crystal ball, for the entire three hour appointment. As I sat in her reclining chair, I remembered winning a pasta colored ribbon for my science fair project on the effects of electro magnetic fields on cattle. Already, I felt somewhat at ease.

The second segment involved the involuntary movement of my right arm, much like a compass or an AuntAnna, as a signal from my brain, when asked oddball questions like, “Are you aware of preferring one color over another? Are you aware of favoring the color blue? Are you aware of favoring the color orange?” You get the idea. My brain didn’t seem to be too stingy with this information, and to my surprise, blue was the final answer.

At this point, I’m scanning the walls for her diploma. There must be an off switch somewhere in this room. Why is my brain drawn to the color blue, when orange is clearly my favorite color? Currently, I’m sleeping in a bag of potato chips, on top of a blue pad filled with air, since my orange one went flat. Maybe, I like blue best because my middle son’s name is, Color Blue.

The kinesiologist continued to address my brain as I rolled my eyes back, deep into their sockets, like a slot machine, to see what the brain might say. “Are you aware of one injury that has impaired your body? Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 injuries?” She continued, “Are you aware of injuries occurring one year ago? Two, three, four years ago. Five, six, seven, eight years ago. Nine, ten, etc?” She must be drunk, The wonderful thing about wearing a mask today is that she can’t see my straight face.

During the third segment, she summarized my emotional life. She said I had a dense emotional force field, that I had a lot of suppressed fear and a ruminating mind, or did she say, a roaming mind. I wasn’t paying attention. A sudden phrase popped into thin air, °°° poof! Witchdoctor.

And if all this was not strange enough, she ended the session by placing 100 different bottles of supplements in my lap, like a grab bag special, checking my right arm again, to confirm my brain’s satisfaction with one over another. This caught my attention, and my brain blurted out — across that dense emotional force field, “This is what I came for! This is what I came for!” as if I had won the lottery. She knew I was not coming back, and I knew this deal was a quack.

One positive thought from this complicated effort is that I moved more toward self acceptance. It seems almost pointless, even if I fix one thing, something else will go wrong, realizing that not much is going to chang. It’s a part of me. “Oh, that’s that thing she has.” the brain whispers.

~ §tacy §weeney

An Orange Note: The Sweetshop

James Abbott McNeill Whistler
American 1834 – 1903
An Orange Note : The Sweet­shop
Oil on panel
Freer Gallery of Art | Washington, United States

An Orange Note: The Sweetshop

O sugar, you spoil my appetite
I’m a hungry human being
I swallowed that treat in one whole bite
like a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on a waffle cone
I shouldn’t be given sweets under any circumstance
I like it very much
our bodies are more sensitive than you think
you stay in your pink hula hoop and I’ll stay in mine
~ Stacy Sweeney

The Moment We’re In

James Abbott McNeill Whistler |1834-1903 | Chelsea Houses

“We gave up our rights
to connect with real people
putting things on pause”

— §tacy §weeney

John Paul Lederach is someone who, behind the scenes, has helped transform conflict across the world over decades, in places like Northern Ireland, Colombia, and Nepal. He’s been a teacher to On Being about moral imagination and social courage. He is also a haikuist and has long kept a daily haiku journal. Now he is creating an “unfolding poem,” for which he’s gone back to his journals from the last week of 2019, when the world first had mention of a possible “new virus.”
march fourteen, ‘twenty

“they say we’re at war
i think we’re falling in love
with the human race”

This is my “unfolding poetry” with an unpopular oil painting by Whistler, to the moment we’re in. Cutting and pasting excerpts from my journal is a great way to summarize my main points into haikus. I prefer captions.

— “We Gave Up Our Rights”
April 12, 2020

“We gave up our rights
to connect with real people
putting things on pause”

— “Seeming Sameness”
March 21, 2020

“I listen to the
seeming sameness of service
I lost track of place”

— “The Sweetshop”
February 2020

“O sugar, you spoil
my appetite in one bite
my sugar sick soul”

— “On Your Side”
January 18, 2020

“Today’s a surprise
like yo-yos you exercise
the sun on your side”

— “The Sea is Deep”
December 31, 2019

“Will our sails be slack
will you break into my sleep
Lord, the sea is deep”

— §tacy §weeney