The community Heals. The person who is ill is like one cell of a vast organism. Her illness simply expresses a communal imbalance, or “dis-ease.” Therefore, the community must collectively heal to bring the organism back into order, or balance.
The Cure Women is a lovely illustration of how this understanding is demonstrated by women living along on the Kurdistan/Iraq border. Despite national boundaries and wars, the women share a cultural understanding of Healing, and when a Kurdistani villager falls seriously ill, the sacred healing water needed for his cure must be procured from a spring that lies on the Iraqi side of the border. Iraqi women go to extraordinary lengths to carry the water from their village and hand it through the barbed wire national border to the Kurdish women who have traveled a long, hard way to receive it.
When I lived on a small island it was very clear to me who my community was, but moving to Seattle, I wondered, who could catch me if I were falling? If the house burned down, if I were suddenly a widow? My introvert’s nature allowed for only a small circle of friends and for my small, not very close family. I knew that these few individuals could not weave a strong enough safety net if I were to fall from a high window.
Twenty years later, when I was diagnosed with cancer, I found myself falling, into a an enormous circle of neighbors, co-workers, family, church acquaintances, and strangers, (numerous strangers, to my surprise!), who stepped forward, firmly wove their arms together into a strong, resilient fireman’s net to catch me and place me gently on my feet.
Do you have a “fireman’s net” prepared for the day you have to jump from a burning building?