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Friday, June 23, 2023

Ills of a Certain Age



By Harry Cummins

      "This world has lost its glory, let's start a brand new story"  -Bee Gees

     My recent go-round with modern medicine has sent my mind spinning on the health of our world these days, not to mention my own well-being. What does it mean when a once-sturdy life or society suddenly collapses with advancing age?  Is illness merely a metaphor for the wider unraveling present in people and cultures?

      Bereft of answers to these rhetorical  questions, some considerations still remain.

     Not every illness we confront, personal or societal, abates or reverses itself. We need a new set of words to challenge our thinking about healing and what constitutes true restoration.  In this process ,we need each other's unique voices of experience. We need to hear them for their remarkable ability to balance self with reality, hope with acceptance, fear with affirmation. We need to hear them, especially, for their ability to establish a  connection with each other.

     To reconstitute ourselves, as individuals and as a society, in the midst of illness and attack, is to help one another make the attempt to go to bear our histories and infirmities with the highest of human credentials.

     Our old stories are ripe for retelling... but in new ways.  Words with the capacity to turn memories into steadfast hope in the midst of cumulative loss. 

     I might suggest this should be an overriding agenda, an antidote to our present affliction.


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