Saturday, February 06, 2010

Divine Tack

Getting Tacked

It has been many months since I had a full blown migraine attack. So long in fact that I lost the fear. Usually I juggle several measures to stave off the onset of an attack -- including increasing my intake of water -- but on Tuesday a migraine crept up on me as we were busy moving junk out of the attic. I missed some of the early signs migraine and did not notice until I was losing vision.

 This blindness is hard to describe, but it is like your normal blind spot, which you never notice, had expanded to the size of a penny laid on your eye. Before, I would have panicked and tried last ditch measures (lying in bed in a darkened room, hot bath, drinking water until I burst) but this time I had to go to the library to take back some DVD's, so, without fear, I walked there, experiencing all the while a grand mal seizure. First, on the way to the library, I lost all sensation in my right arm. Then, while in the building, my tongue went numb. It was as if the blind spot in my vision had grown to take in my tongue. I felt like Jarjar Binks in the Star Wars film, my tongue hanging out, limp and useless. Then I walked home and the numbness moved most of the way down my left arm, leaving the hand unfelt.

 It has taken days to recover from that attack, and I understand why I was so afraid and so willing to do just about anything to avoid such an attack. This is nothing to take lightly. But this time I worked on my fear, for fear can be a contributing factor as well. Now I visualize the experience like this: it is as if God had tacked me to His bulletin board for a few hours. The tack stuck me in the eyes, went over to my right arm, to the tongue and left off on my left. The numbness was a brainstorm taking place deep in the brain, but the point of the tack was felt, or rather not felt, outwardly. Why does the image of God's bulletin board impress itself on me now? I think because, gruelling as it was, it felt somehow sacred. What greater honour than to be a note tacked up to remind the Creator of something He had to do?

Not long after the attack I happened to listen to a podcast of a speech Rabbi Kushner gave in Toronto last fall about his new book about fear. It was just what I needed to hear at that time. I was so impressed with his words of wisdom I played it for the kids last night for their daily Baha'i class. He has just the right mix of humour and sageness to make his speech appeal to the kids. We desperately need Baha'i speakers who can do that! The only Baha'i speaker around here that I know of (he has his own self-deprecating humour that is different but just as effective in his own way as Kushner) is Gordon Naylor.

It has been several days but I still am weakened by this grueling experience. I hope to get back to writing soon.


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