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A Message from Your AltRel Examiner

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After a five year hiatus from this column, I'm sure folks might have been thinking I'd abandoned it yet again. Not so. I was thrilled to get back into the swing of alternative spirit in Philadelphia. And then, the powers that be decided it was time to take me out of the picture of life for a while.

I was incarcerated by Bingbanglamalamadingdong Fever. It's only kind of a joke--no doctor was ever able to give me a definite diagnosis. So that was my summer of 2014 and I'll spare you the details other than to say I'm finally getting caught up on two months of...well, everything, really.

So what does this have to do with alternative religion? In my neck of the spiritual woods, the healing arts are at the heart. They are also often in polite disagreement with modern medicine. I've read it as the hands-on healing of traditional cures against the heroic and sometimes violent intervention of physicians.

This is one walker of alternate paths who knows when it's time to take antibiotics. Oh, believe me, I get to thinking that this solution is no solution at all--that antibiotics are over-prescribed while vicious bacteria are evolving faster than new medicines can be produced. But there's a point at which fevers are soaring and all the healing medals in the world can't supply the intervention a regimen of antibiotics can.

And so to the powers that be, I apologize. But I also see how spirit medicine can work through modern medicine, and for that, I am most grateful.

I did manage to come up with a top ten of things to keep in mind if violent illness should strike you down. If you need them--and I hope you don't--here's what I've concluded.

10) If your doctor can listen to you go on about the light of the full moon shining on the ice as the wolves howl in welcome to Valhalla with compassion and even empathy–a real keeper!

9) Don’t blame the caretakers for not quite executing the task as well as they think they may be doing. Nobody can do this one right without a small army.

8) Don’t watch “The Doors”, unless you watched “The Doors” just before wiping out. In that case good luck…

7) Been put on an infinity loop of antibiotics? Just shut up and take them. This thing has no specific name but is something like low grade malaria/dengue fever and is popping up far more frequently than the news even hints. No joking. It almost feels like they’re trying to quell a panic, but you didn’t hear it from me.

6) Healthy, robust, strong–all bullshit. If I could get this, you can get this. Please be careful and be good to yourself.

5) Got plans? Time to reschedule. Hey, I had a huge novel launch planned for right about now, but I’m not moving forward if I’m missing a few wits (because they’ve melted, mostly). Sometimes…well…what can you do?

4) This is harder than it sounds, but enjoy the rest. What’s hard are the aches and the weakness and the basically awful feeling of never ever wanting to move from your exact spot ever, period. I’m told that even during these times the rest is healing. We’ll see…

3) If you’re pretty much alone and have no one else to talk to, talk to yourself! Who else can understand your feelings better?

2) At least you’re not missing out on a wowza summer movie season. Guck!

1) Remember who you are. Do a little something, anything, everyday to remind you of what you’re doing on this planet and why it usually keeps you going. Back at the very beginning (over a month ago) I tried to keep dreaming of possible plots and thinking about my moon Peggy forming out on the edge of Saturn’s rings. It’s helped.

Anyway, here we are moving into September and Autumn, the season of change. May the changes ahead for you be wonderful ones!

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