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Continued from:
Know Thyself – Part IV – Opening Up

mandala_46During this time, I was deep into dream analysis and mandala making. Through both, I developed keen insight into my own psyche – both in understanding my whole self, and gaining intuition in how to grow and delve deeper.

Some time after the operation, both in my dreams and in my mandalas, all evidence suggested that a woman was about to enter my life. In my mandalas, she was portrayed as yellow, and so I was pretty certain that she would be blonde. I was so certain, in fact, that I staked my entire conviction to the legitimacy of my dream and mandala efforts on it.

When it actually happened, I wasn’t at all looking for it or even aware that I was anticipating it. It just happened.

I was in the Whitney museum in New York City with my mother when I met her and we started talking. Coincidentally, it turned out that she was living strikingly close to our home in Connecticut and so we offered to give her a ride back.

Claudia and I became best friends.

The unusual thing about Claudia was her beauty. She was from Santiago, Chile, and was so extraordinarily beautiful that it was actually disarming. I remember ringing her doorbell to find her opening it and each time becoming totally mesmerized. We once asked a guy on the street for directions, and his jaw dropped and he stood there stunned, not able to say anything. She was that beautiful.

It took me two months to actually kiss her. And when I did, it was very similar to telling my mother about my chest. I couldn’t do it. I knew I had to. It was do or die, but it made no freakin’ sense to my rational mind. Why kiss? It wasn’t logical. All I knew was that I needed to do it. Face to face with an internal conflict I
couldn’t overcome rationally, I finally took the plunge, and mechanically kissed her. Very quickly, it became natural, and transformed into something extraordinary.

loverssunset1Though best friends, we were very different. I was an artist and wanted to change the world. She wanted an upper middle-class home, with good jobs, and a maid. I knew we weren’t destined to ride into the sunset. Claudia came as an utterly magical gift from the Heavens, and she helped to turn my life around.

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gift_basketWhen stripped down, Thanksgiving is such an amazing holiday. It’s a day built on being thankful. How great is that? And it’s a day to be with family and the ones you love. It’s a day celebrating abundance and sharing. It’s really the only day of the year that no one wants to see anyone – even strangers – be alone or go without.

The whole turkey association is barbaric and outdated. Aside from that, it’s a definite keeper.

Image from: GourmetGiftBaskets.com

Continued from: “Know Thyself – Part III – Knowing the World”

Though my life was rich and meaningful, I lived it almost entirely internally. I had very little real contact with other people and after a prolonged time living this way, the total alienation became too uncomfortable to bear. Something inside of me was crying out for some kind of human connection, for touch, for love.

I had lived with gynecomastia for 5 or 6 years. This means I had lived in deep secrecy and shame for all this time. I had endured so much, had carried a heavy burden, and felt like I was finally at a breaking point – I was suffocating. Something had to change.

I realized that I needed to break the silence and reveal my secret.

Finally the day came where I mustered up all the courage I had and approached my mother. I told her that there was something that I had to say. She listened and waited. The words wouldn’t come out. I had no other option but to force the words out. There was no place to retreat to. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.  I stood there trying, as the time ticked. She must have understood how important this was to me. She waited.

birdfreedomI don’t know how much time passed as I was caught in this stalemate, but we stood there for a long time, until finally I… managed… to… just… barely… get – the – words – out… and finally, finally, finally, they had been expressed. I had told my mother about my chest condition and how traumatic it was for me.

I went back to my room and drew a mandala – a wide open circle that went way off the edges of the paper. The dam had been broken. Change was to come.

My mother got busy trying to find a solution, and she discovered that an operation was an option. Soon, the operation was over, and I was finally normal again. Well, sort of.

Continue to: Know Thyself – Part V – A Boon from the Heavens

Image by © cloud9999

cartoonbacteria04For almost 5 months now, I have had a staph infection that just won’t go away. It was soon after I landed in Bombay during monsoon that a rash first appeared on my chest, which soon turned into a boil. I didn’t know what a boil was, but I knew from experience in India that infections untreated could go very wrong, and I immediately went to see a doctor. He drained the puss and gave me some antibiotics, and that was that. Then another boil appeared elsewhere. I went back to the doctor – same procedure.

Later I developed another boil in my nostril – an extraordinarily painful infection that made the whole side of my face swell. I went to a different doctor, who prescribed another antibiotic and gave me a prescription for a super “big gun” antibiotic just in case that one didn’t work. Neither worked.

cartoonbacteria01_2At first I didn’t know what I had, but only after the boils started to multiply was it diagnosed as staph.

In India, I can afford to see doctors. In America, the medical system is designed primarily as a major profit-making industry (in cahoots with the pharmaceutical and insurance industries), and only secondarily as a health care system. I’ve worked hard in my life, but haven’t done so for money. Thus, I’m one of those people who completely falls through the cracks.

The point of this entry is not to talk about what I’ve been going through, or how the system is unfair, or whether or not I should get a job with insurance. The point is that in going through this experience, it’s become clear that our current system is a health crisis in the making.

cartoonbacteria03What I have is not highly contagious, but it’s contagious. I know for sure because I passed it onto Lovele~en (sorry, Love). Recently, the news has been full of accounts of MRSA, popularly known as the “superbug”. What’s crazy is that MRSA kills dead 1 out of every 5 people who get it – it kills more people in America each year than AIDS.

Since Loveleen got it and has insurance, she was cultured and ours is not diagnosed as MRSA, but clearly it’s also resistant to every antibiotic we are given. This is very dangerous.

To have people walking around with contagious, deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria is not a good thing. It will spread, and effect lots of people. Clearly these bacteria continue to evolve faster than we can develop antibiotics for them, and pose a great danger to society at large.

The best thing to do is to treat it immediately and effectively. But here’s the catch. It’s the people like me who fall through the cracks that present the gravest danger to society.

cartoonbacteria05_2It’s not such a big deal to take someone’s culture, do a lab sample on it, and write them a prescription for what will treat the problem. But when a disproportionate, exorbitant price tag is attached to this simple procedure, then many people will choose to suffer through it, or attempt to find their own cures. Suffering through a broken arm, a rotting tooth, or even cancer, frankly sucks – but people, sadly, do it all the time. The people who fall through the cracks will also suffer through MRSA and other evolving contagions – and they will walk around spreading it to everyone. And that’s when our greed-based system will be bitten in the ass by the karma of its own making. Like it or not, leaving people behind is soon to become a major liability for us all.

There is, of course, a solution.

Images from (in order): macmcrae.com, altham.com, folioplanet.com

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