This is one of the many ways in which life here is different from anything I knew in Canada. In the last week, on hearing of my case of shingles, four French friends have immediately said, "But you must see a healer/conjurer/witch/magnetiseur!" They come by many names, but the relevant factor is that some people are given the "gift" of healing burns -- sometimes even before they happen -- and the sensation of burning pain. It appears to be more common in this part of France than elsewhere.
When I had radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery three years ago, even the nurses at the hospital recommended that I see a healer during the six-week period of radiation, it seems to be "something everyone does". Indeed, I did make regular visits to a local "magnetiseur", Monsieur Domenichini, and so I know that the woman who is coming today will probably not touch me, but will move her hands slowly around my head, taking away the pain.
She is the wife of Eric, who helps me with garden chores I cannot manage on my own, and he says she has "the gift". One never pays directly for this treatment, as it is a "don de Dieu" and therefore cannot be "commercialized"... But I will find a way to pay Eric a little more for his work.
In the meantime, I follow my own treatment, which is to find ways to take my mind off my head (so to speak). And a couple of days ago, I found a fine focus for my attention... I was startled to find the spider web below on my kitchen window, as it seemed to have appeared overnight. It is the work of only one small creature who has made it in order to trap unwary insects... It is an intricate, beautiful killing apparatus, and as such reminds me of a great argument I had with Pierre, a French friend who lives up the hill nearby. He is an afficiando of fighter jets, and loves to watch them do their manoeuvres over the Cevennes -- they come over this way from Salon-de-Provence to practice. He stated that he believes they are "beautiful". With much agitation, I disagreed, my point being that a killing machine can never be beautiful because of its function... And here I am, Pierre, eating my words.
|Look at the engineering that has produced the attaching filaments.|
|Look carefully in the upper righthand corner of the web.|
|Amazingly perfect, even though discarded|