“Can I have that in writing?”
“Don’t be silly…”
“Worth a try,” I sighed. My son laughed… well aware that, being an optimist I will keep trying, but no amount of blandishments will persuade him to put anything nice about me in writing. Especially compliments. Especially when he has admitted the unthinkable… like, for example, that I have been right about something.
We had spent several hours looking at new ways of helping my son achieve his goal of being able to walk again. I am hesitant to mention that he had, after a couple of years, decided to try something I had
nagged suggested he try. I am neither nurse nor therapist, I am not an anatomist either, but I have had to learn and I know my son’s injuries and their effects as a whole pretty well. Observing his posture I was struck by a very basic thought… he has fallen arches. He has always had fallen arches. Had anyone considered that, I asked? Apparently not.
Using my hands as rudimentary arch supports his posture was immediately better. That he was standing on me obviously added to his enjoyment of the whole affair, but we can gloss over that. By lifting the arches his feet were able to make the minute muscular adjustments needed for balance; his knees rotated to an instantly better alignment, as did hips, spine and shoulders. That was interesting. He ordered some insoles to try… they would really need to be properly custom made in the long term, but a trial pair might give a better indication than my fingers of the possible benefits.
I hung around this morning, hoping the delivery would arrive before I went home and we talked about the way most parts of the health system are now so specialised that they deal uniquely with their own specialism and somehow do not seem to seek to trace the underlying cause of a problem. Knee people don’t look at shoulders, hip people don’t look at feet… So, for instance, my son pays one therapist to work on his strength and fitness, another looks at injuries caused by exercise, another to work on neuro-rehabilitation etc… They all, as he said, do their best, using different approaches to achieve the same end…often giving conflicting advice. Yet when stripped back down to first principles, there is little or no difference in what they are attempting to do.
We sat in the doorway making the inevitable comparisons. Most of us only every stay within our own ‘specialisms’… our comfort zones, our niches of political, social or religious belief…and we can argue to the point of war about those specialisms. Yet all any of us are trying to do is live the best way we can.
“You see it a lot within the spiritual community…” I continued.
“I knew you’d bring nerkism into it…” I ignored him.
“… many Wiccans won’t attend Qabbalistic rites, ritualists look down on those taking a naturalistic path, one school of thought steers clear of another… Same with religions… yet take that back to first principles and what are we all doing? What is it that each and every one within those communities seek to do? Serve the Light… just that… by whatever name we call It. There is no difference in the intent… only in the method and approach.”
“Like identical items in different gift-wrapping.”
That was it precisely. We set the boundaries beyond which we do not go, forgetting they are our own constructs; blinded by walls of our own building our vision us foreshortened and we seldom look back to those first principles… the gift unwrapped.
We talked some more, marking time in the hope of a delivery that failed to arrive. Being a bank Holiday there was no guarantee after all that they would arrive, regardless of the confirmation emails he had been sent. So it was late afternoon when he called…
He had tried the insoles. He had been disappointed at first, but a little perseverance had shown the possibilities and he had been moved to call. ‘Could I have that in writing?’ I had asked again…
For once, apparently, I was in for a surprise…
“I had a feeling you might,” he replied….