Several years ago I read Gary Zukov’s "The Dancing Wu Li Masters" about quantum physics and relativity. Inspired, I devoured a dozen other books on quantum physics. Go ahead. Pick yourself laughing off the floor. Did I understand these books? Well, no. But I gained a deep sense of patterns of energy, of dancing with imagination and, most of all, the interconnectedness of all things, human and otherwise.
Whenever I feel myself a bit off center, not quite in plumb, not balanced, I look slantwise at patterns in my life to see where I have pulled a plug and disconnected myself.
Three months ago my son Ben, who lives in the Seattle area, was diagnosed with the Dread Disease. Ben and I have always maintained an unusual sense of closeness. The parallels in our lives are woo-woo spooky. I break my wrist; Ben’s arm hurts. Ben gets sick; I can’t sleep. You get the picture.
The Terrible Treatment left Ben shaky, emotionally, mentally and physically. He chose to wall himself off to focus on healing, to conserve what little energy he had. He told me he needed to break all communication with me. He assured me he would contact me again when he felt strong enough. Here’s what happened when Ben pulled the plug as it were and he and I were no longer connected.
Once I got over my hurt feelings, I could understand my son’s decision. When I’m sick, I tend to hole up and wait for the illness to pass, rather like an old dog, curled under the porch, licking its wounds.
I could not be with him. I could do nothing for him. But I had to do something. So I ran away from home. I drove to an old haunt, Pacific Beach, on the far Washington coast, a place more isolated than Harlem. It was the perfect retreat, no phones, no television, no radio reception, no internet. I spent days walking the sandy beach and listening to the surf. My son had disconnected from me. I disconnected from the outer world.
My daughter talked me into flying on to Mazatlan in Mexico. I spent three weeks, still in retreat, still walking the beach and still listening to the wisdom of the surf.
But here’s where the interconnectedness of all things visibly broke down. I had taken my cell phone with me. The fourth day in Mazatlan my phone died, dead, kaput, nada. Now I was disconnected from everyone. But I am comfortable in Mazatlan. The world went on turning. Day followed night. Be happy. Don’t worry.
Upon my return to Harlem, I had to be in touch. I broke my retreat. I ordered a new phone. Fed-Ex delivered it a half hour before I left for the Elected Officials Workshop in Billings. So I took it with me, went to the Verizon store while there, and activated it.
As Mayor Bill and I drove back into Harlem he pointed out the new Nemont cell tower on the edge of town. When I tried to use my Verizon phone, it locked onto that rival tower and I could not complete any calls, in town, out of state or out of the country. This led to hours and hours with Verizon technical support folks. I now know their names and their children’s names. Finally every function except for international calls had been restored. I want international service. Like a bulldog, I hung on. Turns out the company that owns the tower does not have international capabilities. Ca sera sera.
Finally, the evening of Mother’s Day, Ben broke his long silence. We talked for two hours.
Ben said, "Mom, I had a brand new phone for work. Cost $650.00. I dropped it on the pavement and shattered the case. Parts flew everywhere. Replaced it with the same model. Four days later I dropped it in the toilet. Had to get a third. It’s the ultimate. You can run over it with your car. It will withstand a thousand pounds collision force. You can drop it six meters underwater for six hours and it will still work. At the same time my work provided a new laptop. While I was moving stuff around in the back of my car, the laptop slid out of the unzipped case, fell to the sidewalk and cracked the frame. What do you suppose is going on?"
So I told him of my phone adventures. "It’s just a dance around technological limbo, the relative interconnectedness of all things. Don’t worry. It’s the Wu Li Masters at play."
Ben laughed. "Mom, if the phone doesn’t work, we can send smoke signals."
Ben feels weak but is responding to treatment. We’re grateful. We have hope.
HDN: Looking out my back door
May 16, 2013 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________