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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tea-bowl for Nicale, #13, "The Inflammation Cup"




    "Cousin Nicale learned knees are fickle,
     Since early man, became bipedal.
     Here's my prescription, my five cents,
     To cure that knee's torn ligaments -
     Find a worn buffalo nickel,
     and tape it to the knee that's fickle.
     Feel that cold metal edge,

     Boldly heal your cartilage.
     As that noble nickel chief,
     Begins to offer some relief,
     What breaks a leg to make it bend,
     yet seems to wake before it mends?
     Think of bison, just as tough,
     How cures are feeble without light or love.
     In Japan you'll find fine healing teas,
     Cool green medicine, to calm misery.
     A chieftain meditates, in bright majesty,
     He imagines light, . . .  passing thru that knee."



My wife's knee was ailing the on the 13th day of my 36 tea-bowl project. She slowed down a bit. She rested, meditated, and did the exercises the doctor prescribed. Her knee has recovered.

However no-one answered the appeal to claim this tea-bowl. I wrote a quatrain and a blog piece for it, about inflammation, and fire:

     "Her knee's inflamed, she lies in bed,
      Some tears of pain, it's turned bright red,
      Where tantra acts the night is clear,
      Reflects back what light is near."

Like this bowl, inflames.

Fire is a universal mythological symbol of transformation. Dreams of fire foretell changes in the psyche, usually for the positive.

Fire purifies.

Fire heals dead forests. Our Department of the Interior is crazily biased against forest fires. Fire-fighting policies have been carried out for so many years, that many of our national forests are just festering accumulations of natural resins waiting to burst into flames.

Naturalists will tell you that conifer and desert thorn forests require fire to seed, and replenish the nutrients in their sandy soils. Putting such fires off intensifies the heat when they finally do occur. Essentially the soil becomes exhausted, all the nutrients having turned to resinous exudes of the branches and leaves. Fire restores the nutrients to the forest floor.

Why does nature work this way in sand or gravel rich soils? Simple. To keep nutrients at the soil surface where they may be available for new growth and to lock natural fertilizers in a form unlikely to wash away when it rains. 

When fires do spark in places where fires have been put off, such as in Arizona earlier this summer, they burn way too hot, and out of control, at much higher temperatures. Trees instead of being singed, die. Healthy fires will just singe the bark, and actually help long dormant seeds to germinate. Certain species of pine cannot even drop their cones unless a fire burns at the base of the trunk. The fire enriches the soil with a mineral wealth contained in ash. The same minerals that bring color to my pots also sustain life. Interfering with natural fires interferes with the natural recycling of soil nutrients.

Fire-repression policies are not likely to stop. Western mythology is conditioned to cast natural forces as evil.  We fight fire and flood with biblical determination, wasting billions on levees, and and aircraft that drop hazardous chemicals. Yet fires and floods cannot be prevented, and by now we should have learned that when they do occur, they are more fierce.

The forces of nature are only controlled through encouragement. Our greatest mistake, and one which we are all paying for dearly, has been the cutting of trees across the continent. This caused our soil layers to erode by as much as 90% in vast areas of the once fertile west and midwest. The soil absorbs moisture, and holds it, preventing a rapid runoff. This is the true cause of flooding.

Loosened soils play into the hand of dust storms. Bare soil heats up and brings on tornados.

Perhaps we ourselves are the truly damaging fire, the great flood. The human scourge.

Are we not waiting for our species to take a page of wisdom from the natural world that created us?

A great irony is that forest fires bring landfall profits to timber companies which invade national forest preserves to remove dead timber, which is still salable as lower grade lumber products. A policy that pretends to care about the great forests, makes sure that first-growth giants may still be cut and sold, even at reduced value.

That was months ago. . . and now, we've received word that my cousin Nicale Wunderlich, has seriously injured his knee at a soccer match in Japan. My wife's knee has since recovered, so we've decided to give this bowl to Nicale. 

-:-

Most medicine combats imbalance by applying the opposite. Cool a fever, stay warm with a cold.

Sometimes the other approach is called for. Homeopathy for instance indicates irritants to cure an irritation, an inflammatory to combat inflammation.

My approach is to use image, visual or poetic, to guide light within an individual. By calling this cup, "The Inflammation Cup" I'm essentially saying, 'the inflammation is here', not in your knee.

'Drink the blood of your enemies' would be a negative application of this principle, but the positive is be to drink a symbol of the thing that bothers. Drink your inflammation, as tea. Drink the number 13 as the bitter medicine that life holds store for all of us,  since some deals in life we must accept. Acceptance is the first part of healing.

Suggestion is the second part. Without the light of what is possible, nothing is possible. The runner imagines himself running. He imagines himself accelerating up that hill. Without the light of imagination nothing would go anywhere. Light precedes all change, all growth.

Nicale's father is a professional healer who is doing all he can to help his son. He sent out a very real prayer to everyone in the family, asking for contributions of love. Here's mine.

Healing requires light, to guide its power. No healing efforts made solely by hospitals, or doctors or pills, can work without light or love, since these guide all energy, all growth and regrowth.

So as a cousin I say to Nicale, "Think like a buffalo. Imagine a native of those Great Plains, bounding to the back of his horse in one leap. Think strong like the native prairie bluestem grass that grows seven feet tall. Think like the majesty of our great earth, and your knee will be restored to you.

It is worth noting the similarity between Nicale's name and the word 'nickel'. Paradoxically the reverse face of the Indian Head Nickel, or Buffalo Nickel, underwent several iterations:

"A well-known variety in the series is the 1937–D "three-legged" nickel, on which one of the buffalo's legs is missing. Breen relates that this variety was caused by a pressman, Mr. Young, who in seeking to remove marks from a reverse die (caused by the dies making contact with each other), accidentally removed or greatly weakened one of the animal's legs." [Wikipedia]

Healing follows light. Light follows image, and image follows sound.

So all prayers are healing, and all prayers, guide light. Remember your last name Nicale - use your light to heal.

Remember the strength of your uncle, who lost his leg, but saved a soul from drowning just months after his accident.

We'll have a cup of tea at Brandreth, when you return.


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