Beginning at the Beginning
As noted in my first post, I intend to publish a few postings which take you back to the beginning of our trek. Expect a few of these and then I will begin with new materials as they come to me and seem relevant.
e-mail sent November 21, 2011
Subject: Katie’s Karma Korps: An invitation to participate in our most important journey
Hi friends and family (although not mutually exclusive).
As most of you know, Katie was diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago and since that time we have embarked on a journey of learning that we would both hope you never have to take.
However, if our taking this trip enables and empowers any of you we can find some glimmer of hope.
My purpose in sending this note is simple: We, Katie and I, are believers in Karma and in the spiritual power of good will. By no means are we conventionally religious and this episode in our lives is not about to become akin to a conversion on the road to Damascus. (If you don’t understand the literary reference consult my learned friend Len Rosen who will expound upon it in great detail.) So, many of you have already sent us powerful thoughts and wishes. Your support and that of many others will only become more important over the next few weeks and perhaps months.
We will keep you informed of what is going on simply because we have learned in the very recent past that peering into the gaping maw of ignorance is just downright frightful. We choose hope. We choose light. We choose you to help illuminate our path.
Next steps are these: Katie has more tests on November 23 then on November 30 she will undergo mastectomy surgery.
We will both acknowledge that the care, respect and treatment we’ve received from some great people at Princess Margaret Hospital is encouraging. In particular I must thank my newest best friend, Gill Howard, for greasing the skids for us at PMH. We will be forever grateful Gill.
In summary, we appreciate your support and hope that you will – nah, we KNOW – you will keep it coming in the gobs we require.
e-mail sent November 22, 2011
Subject: Katie’s Karma Korps, 1st edition, Vol. 2: Keep your face always
toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.
Thank you so very much for your responses to our last note. Whatever you’re doing, please keep doing it. We believe it is working and if you can send a special concentration of energy around 11:30 a.m. tomorrow our receptors will be at their most active.
We don’t have any updates apart from this thank you.
I also will share a portion of a poem that was seminal in my development. From 1967 ’til the early ’70s I attended Camp Mazinaw (now sadly gone). It was a boys’ canoe tripping camp near Bon Echo. Bon Echo is a 365′ high cliff which features both very early aboriginal stone drawings and a portion of the following Whitman poem carved into its base. In the company of my fellows at Mazinaw I learned very many good lessons including my abiding belief in what I now understand as karma but which at the time we referred to as a spirit named Wakonda. I know that Wakonda is in reality all of you collectively and individually. Thanks so much for being with us and please do, like us, keep your face always toward the sunshine.
From Leaves of Grass:
“And I know I am solid and sound;
To me the converging objects of the universe perpetually flow;
All are written to me, and I must get what the writing means.
“I know I am deathless;
I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by the carpenter’s compass;
I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night.
“I know I am august;
I do not trouble my spirit to vindicate itself or be understood;
I see that the elementary laws never apologize;
(I reckon I behave no prouder than the level I plant my house by, after all.)
“I exist as I am – that is enough;
If no other in the world be aware, I sit content;
And if each and all be aware, I sit content.
“One world is aware, and by far the largest to me, and that is myself;
And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand years,
I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait.
“My foothold is tenon’d and mortis’d in granite;
I laugh at what you call dissolution;
And I know the amplitude of time.”
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass