“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease”
He is the author. He has been writing the story of this disease for 60 years. And for the last twenty odd years he has been the man that has taught me how to read, not just words, but also the lines between. Not only did he teach me how to read, but he also encouraged me to express what it is I see, and to believe in its significance, its place and purpose despite my limited life experience. In fact, sometimes I think he relied on that. He relied on my untrained eye. The eye seeing things for the first time, seeing things as they are and not as they seem. The eye free to focus, or relax, a vision with a lens that has yet to be corrected and bound by frame. A vision that has access to the “inaccessible”.
I can clearly remember my tiny self drowning in the depth of observation urgently trying to find the words in my limited, junior vocabulary that I could throw out like a life buoy to keep us all afloat as the next wave of his stress broke. For what I was lacking in word, I made up for with my ability to analogise and somehow relate to what was then un-relatable. So I tread tirelessly to keep my head above the water and my eyes fixed on him so I could observe, decipher, and diffuse situation with the innocent eyes of true perception.
You see. He may have written the story, but societal expectation and his consequential blurred perception of who he should be gave him the pen and told him how many pages he was allowed for each chapter. So he worked harder in order to keep up with his word, refusing to put down his pen. His stops were never full, and his commas always capricious. All he saw in front of him was the incentive of his fountain tip pen (engraved with proof of his loyal service) and the paper he tried to make meet end. I can remember reading what his tired face wrote in the evenings, and highlighting the business terminology depressed on his page of thought. I needed to understand their meaning in order to keep up my “profound” relate-ability, to provide some sort of comfort and conversational use.
By trade, he negotiates, and as a result of his misperception of what he felt were tribulations, I would try and get him to buy into the stock of my achievements (however small) to trade as his own, to supplement his worth that he often misspelled.
The closer he got to the end of each chapter, (or rather, the closer the end of each chapter got to him) the more he struggled to define his story and the less he was able to identify his hand in the writing. Writers block. He had writers block. Out of frustration he threw down his pen and allowed a ghostwriter to step in. So the ghostwriter began to tells the story from where his ends. A copy paste life of conformity, obedience and sacrifice.
You see, we do this. We surrender ourselves to societies ideal because we fear that we’re not where we should be, that we have run out of time and pages to write our story. So we allow it to be written for us, by forcing ourselves to fit the mold, the template provided for every year we unfold.
So we wake up, and we serve. We serve and sacrifice ourselves sick for silly things that are deliberately designed to lure us further away from ourselves, to forget about the story we were writing, and to start believing in the one that has been written for us. To believe in these external, material motivations which are conveniently left just out of reach. The false belief, and artificial perception that you need extravagance and grandeur, the motorbike, the house, the boat and the white collar to match your picket fence and fake friends, so you sell your soul for it. As it’s only in things for self, and not of self that you’re deemed a valid, worthy, “successful” being.
It’s in the exorcism of reaching for the conveniently placed out of reach things, that our soul gets torn away from our body, and disease has space to set in. In this Disease, the dis-ease, his, I have begun to realise its purpose, and his. I have begun to realise the inadvertent beauty in the consequence of its existence, and the frustration in its western perception of “cure”
Disease. Dis – the Latin prefix meaning “apart”, “asunder”, “away” or having a privative, negative or reversing force.
(Privation. Causing, or tending to cause deprivation. Characterized by the taking away, loss, or lack of something.)
Ease. The freedom from labor, pain or physical annoyance, tranquil rest, comfort. The freedom from concern, anxiety or solicitude; a quiet state of mind.
To my understanding and interpretation between the line. Disease manifests when you’re apart, asunder or away from self. When you’re anxious, stressed under duress and deprived of a quiet state of mind.
So, as I read on from where the ghostwriter wrote, I see themes of disrupted rhythm. I see the cessation of self-belief, and the trade of organic identity for a generic celebrated “norm”. I see the false perception of insecurity. I see the disorientation and dissonance created in the imbalance of spent time. I see doubt. I see distrust in the ability to be all for self, and the encouragement to rely on the outsourced. I see society selling false quick fix “solutions” to a problem they’ve created. I see the complete misnomer of richness. I see someone else. Until that is, I read chapter 2015.
After years of pushing himself beyond what was kind, the disease (pancreatic cancer it was so defied) Manifested in the space between his soul and body. The doctors, (who usually specialised in quick fix solutions), now came forward with a quick, break resolution. He had to choose between 3 months of ruin or an unforgiving surgical procedure.
Herein lies the beauty in the consequential, and the light to the wound. As a result of his inability to serve, and his weakened body pulling him back down to earth. The pattern of his product, cut so perfectly to society’s template was no longer of use and the job he reached so far for, and severed ties between his body and soul for was out of reach. So he lost it. He lost it, along with his false perception of identity, the who “I” am, and how “I” am seen to society. When you lose your job, and win medical bills, eventually you have to “insert more coins” in order to keep playing the game that is this life. So, he inserted the house, his car, and his pride in order to keep playing, because he is a sport, and of course, a fighter. However, It is only in losing everything, that he realised that he is everything. It is in this aggressive detachment from everything he was misled to believe he should slave for did he realise his place, and his purpose through a childlike, pure perception. To see himself as I have always seen.
As we read on from chapter 2016, we begin to see the narrowing of the gap between the soul and body as he finds the courage to pick up his pen and start writing his own story again. The only thing he still needs to break free of, that insultingly attaches him to this sanguine coloured society is the chemo that drips in his veins. The pharmaceutical solution that’s sold to fix the problem they co-wrote.
Fuck, I used to get so frustrated when my dad would force me to “read”. I would think it so selfish of him to make me feel so responsible and atone to his emotion. To try solve or at least dilute the true problems that he refused to see, and to refute the fake problems that he could. To constantly be the one that would have to define, what matters vs. what was of matter. You see; all this time I thought I was reading his story, but instead he was selflessly reading his to me so I could have the opportunity, with hind and sight fore to write mine differently. So too did I realise that the weight of his worry wasn’t only for my shoulders to bear. So, as I sit, in the familiarity of the oncology rooms this late afternoon, my mom not beside my dad, but rather he beside her as she is consulted with the solution and cure for her disease reoccurred. I realise. That as he sat down to read from his book, she was the light that sat beside him and brought light to his word.
In conclusion; you are not the salary you earn. You are not the space you occupy in your office. You are not the title on your door or the name on your tertiary education certificate. You are not your twitter or instagram handle. You are not even the face on your book. You are the divine source of everything that you have, and have yet to need. Detach yourself from meaningless shit, refuse to buy into it, the “health and happiness” you so seek is inner sourced. There is no supplement for self.
Besides; you have time. You have time to make it all happen. You have time, so take it and build yourself properly. Disregard the templates; there is no ideal age, other than the now. Now is as good a time as any. By all means, go out there and dominate the “work force”, but don’t allow yourself to get pushed around by it. Don’t lose your sense of self and forgo evolution out of fear of losing position, or your “bosses” favor. Don’t down play your ability, your power, and your worth. Whatever happens, or doesn’t happen you’ll survive. More than just survive, you’ll prosper. (Remember, you’re holding the pen so you’re telling the story.) Trust me, I am as ambitious as any, but the work ethic I apply to my career has to be matched or superseded by the work I put into my self. That, for me is the success to the situation, to learn how to remain true whist playing the “game”. So this is not about denying yourself the accruement of possession, it’s about not allowing yourself to become possessed by it. Before reaching out, you must reach in. To deny the distance, it to deny dis-ease.