Reverb

Last year, I think I was crowing about having three springs in my travels – this year I have had none: straight from English and Maine winter straight to Australian summer and back to Norwegian and Danish winter.  Even Germany in late March is still crispy and bare.

I had unusual carry-over, perhaps because my schedule is way too thick this season. Accustomed to the cheery and irreverent Australians, I started lecturing and hectoring the stolid cold-resilient Norwegians in the manner I had been joking with the warm-resilient Ozzies.  It did not go down well.  I course-corrected by the second day, taking on the somber correctness suitable to the frigid drizzle and cobbled streets of Bergen.

Somewhere over Tahiti on the plane back from Australia I developed a minor virus that makes my nose drip.  It attacks randomly, starting with an allergic itch in my right nostril that quickly turns me on like a faucet – very annoying and embarrassing when I am teaching.

Wiping and washing constantly in the middle of a bunch of healers, I have been given various pills and nostrums, all kindly of course, but I suspect they all work at cross-purposes.  Mostly these viruses just seem to have a life, so you can abate the symptoms but not the arc – at least so I find.

Most annoying are those who are self-convinced that their method will cure you.  A gentle Scandinavian giant – white haired, moustached, a tall man’s stoop – stopped me on my way to the bathroom to do his Chi-Gung work on me, pointing his sausage fingers millimeters from my face (“Can you feel that?”) and tapping points on my wrist (“Does that feel better?”).

I will be honest with these people – “No, not particularly” – so he kept on, ever more desperately trying to prove a point.  The thing with these people is that it is not so much about making you feel better as them wanting you to share their conviction that their power can heal anything.  When I continued to drip, he simply redoubled his efforts – and my break whittled away.

Finally after minutes of this, I got so annoyed that adrenalin cleared my nose and I was honestly able to tell him it felt better and he let me go.  Lord, save me from the convinced – the fool is so sure of himself, while the wise are so uncertain.

God knows I’ve been there myself in the early days, but now I know to wait for an invitation.  Leave it to The Bard: The readiness is all.

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One Response to “Reverb”

  1. julianaotter Says:

    “Lord, save me from the convinced – the fool is so sure of himself, while the wise are so uncertain.” wow, so wise.

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