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Of Spiders, Senses and Cat Stevens

Writing the last 3 weeks has been a challenge. That is why you have received some newsletters that were previously published from the first year when I started writing weekly. The information I hope is still timely for you. Allergies in spring, accidents and dental issues always seem to be relevant!

For me, republishing gave me a chance to breathe during the launch of the magazine. So thank you.

Room to breathe meant watching movies on the weekend, getting my fill of Chopped on the Food Network and working/weeding in the flowerbeds. Something I discovered while weeding and getting mud-luscious dirty is that my mind is freed from the endless to-do lists and my creative mind rambles. You get to read the ramblings!

My wooden barrels this year.


The movie we watched is called Perfect Sense, originally titled The Last Word.

The storyline is about a man, a woman, a little romance and an epidemic. The woman is an epidemiologist and the man is a chef. Her flat is near the restaurant where he works and so the love story unfolds…in the midst of a highly contagious outbreak.

There were several stages to the disease. An emotional outbreak quickly followed by the loss of one of the five senses. The first emotion expressed was great sorrow with almost hysterical sobbing followed by the loss of smell. As I write today, I can smell the chicken broth simmering on the stove. I can hear the burbling of the broth, the click of the burner as it adjusts the heat, sirens and car traffic outside my window, the tap of the keyboard as my fingers type but it is the smell that touches a deep part of my brain where memories reside. Fragrances forgotten and then remembered in an instant when the aroma arouses some kind of childhood memory like chicken soup on a cool rainy day at lunchtime in the days when we walked to and from school.

What would it be like to lose all sense of smell? food

The restaurant faces the challenge forced upon them by creating for the remaining senses. Attention is given to texture, to taste that is limited because of the loss of smell, to the visual and to the sound of food. Life goes on.

The next stage of the disease is irrational fear, anxiety and panic followed by gluttony, which then leaves people without a sense of taste. Quickly following that is anger and rage and can you guess what happens when someone is screaming in your face? Yep…you quit listening and you quit hearing. The love story falls apart. Hurtful words spoken that can never be taken back. All that is left is the memory of words spoken in anger. And silence.

So how does one continue to feed guests when all that is left is the visual and the touch and texture of food? You make your food stunning to behold; a delight on the tongue, a feast of sensuality. Life goes on.

Then one day, everyone experiences euphoria, an inexplicable joy where love and forgiveness permeates all that has come before. As the lovers reconnect you see the images fading from the screen. All that remains in our imagination is the touch between the man and the woman. The credits roll. And we imagine how life goes on.

With each loss of another sense the characters are challenged to stay in the present moment with what senses remain. I have to say, when I started my weeding in the garden the next day, I was more aware of the smells (fragrance is the theme of my flower beds), the sounds, the textures (I did not taste any of the plants but there are certainly many that can be eaten!). How would life go on for me if I could not smell, taste, hear or see?

Then I started humming Moonshadow by Cat Stevens. A cheerful song until you really listen to the words.

“And if I ever lose my eyes
If my colors all run dry
Yes, if I ever lose my eyes
Ooh, I won’t have to cry no more”

Where does Cat Stevens find hope?

One website had this to say:

“Stevens wrote this about finding hope in any situation. Be present and joyful. See life as it is, right now, and don’t compare it to others’ lives, or other times in your life. Every moment in life is rich and unique; whether we are aware of it or not, we are always leaping and hopping on a moonshadow – the inescapable present moment. If we are wrapped up in our whirlpools of worry and concern about what could be, or what has been, we are missing the richness of life as it is.”

My now adult kids were raised on Cat Stevens but if his songs are new to you, have a listen here.

So where does Charlotte the spider enter in? It can sometimes be tempting to fall into the trap (groan…had to make a spider joke) of thinking that life is simply the statement:

“We’re born, we live a little while, we die.” ~Charlotte the Spider


Charlotte in fact has much more to say:

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” ~B. White (1899 – 1985)

So I say to you, those of you who faithfully read my ramblings from week to week, who graciously accept that sometimes I run out of creative steam:

You are my friends. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I write my newsletters because I like you (and I like homeopathy). After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A homeopath’s/writer’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies…oops! Guess I will have to change that to…with all this making chicken soup, writing newsletters and weeding flowerbeds. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.

May you find time always to breathe, relax, dig in the dirt, make chicken soup, watch movies you love and TV shows on the Food Channel and read books that inspire you.

Be in the moment and use your senses to take you there.

Yours in health and healing,

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