The Cosmic Internet
You would never believe would you, that you could get frost - bite travelling in the North African desert? But it happened to me during a five hour taxi ride in Tunisia when I sat on the sunny side of the car and, to counteract the hot sun, played the fresh air duct on to my face. This must have chilled a major nerve for, several days later, once again at home in Donegal, my right eye started to ache and then the whole right side of my face began to swell up, eventually closing both of my eyes. A paralysis spread over the area not unlike the effect of Bells Palsy but definitely different. ( I have had both so I know ). The swelling on my face then burst out into yellow sores and the skin inside my mouth burnt off. The treatment recommended by my herbalist wife was to swab the sore parts with oil of St. Johns Wort dabbed on with cotton wool several times a day and in the night, when the irritation was greatest. Things went quite well until confetti - sized black spots began to appear on the encrustations. Gangrene was diagnosed but cleared up in 12 hours with washes of Hydrogen Peroxide.
My right eye remained closed for six weeks but I was able to see a little with the other. I could perform a few chores around the house but was mostly inactive and I began to fret that I was not able to work and make any money. So I asked my wife to buy me lottery forms to fill in each week. Though she silently disapproved of this, she did as I asked for some weeks. It was no good, all the numbers I picked wound themselves snake-like around the winning ones.
In the third month I was able to get back to work in my studio and one day I stood there thinking about the lottery and said to myself "This is no way for me to live. This is too negative and cowardly" and, standing with my legs apart and arms curved before me as though to embrace a tree, I willed myself to enter into what I call the Cosmic Internet - a passive submission to whatever unseen spiritual force it is that directs my life, (after all it has never failed me yet)....... and, sure enough, some time afterwards, two buyers unexpectedly walked into my studio and bought several paintings. A few days later, my sister in-law phoned from Canada to say my brother was dying and with this new gained money we were able to fly out to Canada to comfort her in her bereavement. After assisting Anne to scatter Bobs ashes in a lake in the Rockies, we crossed this dramatic mountain range high in the cab of a huge truck driven by her nephew Eddie and went on to travel across British Colombia to the Pacific.
All of these things and their serendipity were totally unforeseen in the weeks I was disabled and we were then astonished and humbled to find how quickly the Cosmic Internet responded to my appeal and anticipated our needs.
In memory of Jeremiah Hoad 1924 - 1999
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