Monday 9 January 2012

Mirror of Erised

I was talking to a friend today that I haven’t touched base with for quite some time. We were doing the typical “How’s the Wife?” and “How are the kids?”, “Are you still enjoying being retired?” question and answers. Sadly, his son-in-law isn’t doing very well. He has cancer which has migrated through most of his body and he is involved in clinical drug trials which can either help slow the cancer of speed it up. Needless to say, I passed on my best wishes and condolences.

We talked about how insidious that cancer is and we tried to remember if the world suffered from it as much when we were younger than now. Both of us felt that for some inexplicable reason there is far more instances now than say forty years ago. I suppose that it could be due to improved detection, but I tend to think our diet is to blame, at least in part. Virtually all of the food that we eat is pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics, has been genetically modified and in many cases force fed. These and more things that I am not aware of (and don’t really wish to be aware of) must be having some impact.

I asked my buddy how his daughter and son-in-law are coping. They seem to be living each day as fully as possible. He refuses to ask the doctor how long he has to live, but prefers to just live day to day. Good for him! None of us know exactly when we will pass, and the way that I see it we shouldn’t know. The only reason that I would like to know is that I would be able to stick it to the insurance companies, and really, who wouldn’t do that if they could?

This got me to thinking about the people that I have heard of and met that have had life changing surgeries, near death experiences and major emotional upheavals in their lives. I can remember doing some research about the Appalachian Trail that follows the east coast of the US ( ) for over 2000 miles. A large number of people that do this hike are generally survivors of some sort. They have survived divorces, death of a loved one, loss of jobs, cancer, major illness and any other life altering event that you might think of. I suppose that it is one of those”Well, I might just as well take the six months and see what I am made of.” decisions. I have mulled over the possibility of doing this hike from time to time, but I guess that I have (thankfully) never been sufficiently motivated. If you have the time and inclination, you should read some accounts of the people that do the Appalachian Trail, it makes for fascinating reading.

Some people pick up and move to another locale hoping that a change in scenery will also be a change for the better. I am not sure what I would do, and I guess until I am put into that situation I just won’t know. I would like to think that it would be like looking into the Mirror of Erised. If you are truly happy in your life, you would already be where you should be and with who. Personally, I think I would stay right here.

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