April 06, 2011

Of mice and men

It has been my privilege to treat patients for over the last twenty years in their homes. Nearly the entirety of my work has been done in the form of house calls. Observing a person's natural environment presents a more direct line to twists and turns that disrupts a person, be it emotional or physical, because they are eminently more relaxed at home, lacking some of the postures of defense normally put up in order to deal with the world.
We need defense mechanisms since our physical protection is rather limp and we have evolved into particularly sensitive creatures establishing complex emotion states and an amazing depth of perception. Without defenses our inner world becomes outside and the Zen concept of thought as action aside, there is a reason the two are not normally one and the same thing. 

There is no doubt that healing further exposes us and in order to be successful requires you to put your trust in the process. Still, most people exhibit reluctance to  look at their weaknesses, forsaking far-sighted goals of strengthening for fears at hand. 
By carefully exposing weaknesses you can make the base stronger, but people prefer to look to their strengths when things look shaky. Not so much with children, since they are less fixed in their outlook, adapting readily to massive changes in how they perceive reality. Not so much in individuals who have been so compromised in their manifestation that they really have no defense mechanisms and their weaknesses are paradoxically also their strengths.

At age six the lack of a law of cause and effect seemed to me some evil concoction stemming from a jealous deity, not content to give just reward for just behaviour and predicating suffering on people I knew, without cause. My inability to reconcile this modus vivendi  of the powers that be left me without understanding and thus easy prey for bullies who apparently had access to The Handbook of how things work in life.

Looking back at that childish world-view, now forty years later, in light of how I feel about Segev, I cannot but feel pride at such naiveté since it has helped carry me through the most difficult times in my life, having stood by me with fervent conviction, never allowing me to question if Segev was meant to be here or not and in this regard I suppose I simply forgot to grow up.

What is so amazing to me whenever I attend to Segev, whether it is for a need or to feel him in my arms, even until my legs fall asleep and the burning pain of fatigue in my arms comes dangerously close to affecting my ability to get up and place him on the couch or in his chair, I can always feel a tremendous energy coursing through his body. 

Like a star-filled night sky, endless days I've paid meticulous attention to his movements, his body language as well as his twitching and jerking, like unconscious attempts to metamorphose with superhuman strength into the shadow of some ultimate being. 
With his nearly entirely absent control of motion, his ultra limited ability to perceive and make sense of his surroundings, perhaps it is only natural that the concentrated expression of life would make such a deep impression on someone such as myself whose abilities to sense misalignment of a physical and emotional nature is at the very heart of my vocation.

Anyone can see this tremendous life force that Segev has and whether because of or despite his most extreme compromised existence, when something is perceived to endanger that lifeforce it occasionally makes for  very forceful reactions on my part. 

It is these forceful reactions which I've had to question as of late. It has an affect on everything since our realities are a function of perception and internal logic. I've written quite a bit about the need to be true to one's nature. And appropriately, getting to the heart of the matter in regards to Segev's being, his place in this world that is beyond what you could call "challenging" for him, it is crushing, like an insect underfoot. What we see in a child that is like a black hole of human need is indeed a doorway to something difficult to comprehend, by any person who does not peek through this black hole as a parent of such extreme children. Their distorted reality defies explanation. The play of cohesion and divisiveness does not appear to touch them.
I've written about the driving force in nature before, about the concept that allows you to place value on the connection we have to each other. One that cannot be marginalized by dry rhetoric masquerading as ethos and which does not side well with the concept that everything in our behaviour can be explained as electricity and biochemics. With most of nature hidden from our eyes, "imagination is more important than knowledge"  and I add, Love is a sustainable force when you believe in it. 

I've seen a lot of people write angry words, especially of late. Others lean towards a feeling of confusion. It seems as though more than ever we are looking to find our way because we are open to looking at experiences, dread limiting ourselves more than our truncated lives as caregivers already does.  This day to day, often hour to hour, existence gorges itself on our creativity, the luxury of carefree thinking and we are meant to strut through the streets in this tattered garment of our person, forever living in the vestibule of our abilities.

I've seen my relationships clearly defined of late, be it to my children, in regards to my beliefs, my expectations of life; my parents, my ex-partner. Lo and behold I am learning to let go of conceptions that are detrimental to my own mental health, of anger, as I wrote about previously and look to realign my insight more and more as I clearly focus on the things which are most important to me.

Here lies the crux when you have been battered on the rocks, thrown about in the storm, nearly drowned by hardship: to focus on the few elements really necessary. And when there is "no fat left to cut" it is about finding the right way to expend your energy, making the connections which will provide what you truly need.


  1. Your writing is magnetic and beautiful, even when, especially when, it is stripped to the rawness of being. ((())) You and yours remain always in my thoughts and well-wishes.

  2. KWombles couldn't have summed it up any better, I'm just going to add one of my hugs xxx

  3. Really Kwobles and Oatie. I've been addicted to his writing for a while now but it does seem to fuel my own desire for life and creativity. Thank you Eric.

  4. A great and insightful post, Eric. I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically agree with "trusting in the process." While the end is never clear, the means often muddled, and reasons unfathomable, trusting in the process is that light which illuminates the way. I really love that expression of belief about living. Warmest to you both!

  5. Thank you for the encouragement, all.