by Debora Zachariasse
‘Someone has to stand up and say the answer is not another pill. The answer is spinach.’ Bill Maher.
At 5.30 pm, juts before closing time, I was startled by a anxious phone call from an elderly patient. He asked if his sleeping pills were being delivered today. I told him, they are on their way, sir, why? I need them to sleep, he said. And he urged me to deliver them very soon, certainly before he went to bed. I reassured him and just to make sure, I asked him what time he went to bed.
He went to bed at seven. Because the days were so very long.
As a pharmacist I have seen thousands of patients in my pharmacy. Sad figure: 80% of them were stuck in their story, convinced that their health and wellbeing depended on pills. Heartmedication. Antidepressants. Anti-anxiety pills. Asthma. Heartburn. It was right there, in their eyes. One develops an eextra sense for it.
It’s a harsh thing to say, but I am not making it up. This is science. 80% of diseases are psychosomatic. Psychosomatic means that the body will bear for us whatever the mind cannot cope with. Bodies are the most loyal, loving and wonderful servants in the world. But sometimes, life gets too much, even for the body.
It was heartbreaking. It was also illuminating. I wondered why I spent 8 years in university, learning all about how the kidneys work, how the heart works, how the digestive system works, and every final chemical finesse of every drug in the book, when 80 % are used just to keep us mindlessly asleep.
You see, this man was no exception. Most people go to bed at seven. They spend all evening in front of a dreamscreen, 3-4 hours on average, mindlessly munching until it’s time to continue their sleep horizontally in bed. Now it’s a sad fact of physiology that whatever is fed to the mind in half-sleep has double impact. And we wonder why the world is so violent.
This elderly patient did not really need pills. He needed a daily hug and a fireside with good company and a juicy tale. I can give a hundred other examples of patients who do not need pills, not really. And how they are fed into the system by ruthless, greedy companies. And that’s perhaps the best reason why I spent 8 years in university, to be that person, to stand up and say it: The answer is not another pil. It is spinach. And stories.
Spinach is essential. On this website, you will find an awful lot of really good healthy ideas for eating, not just with spinach, but with nettles, herbs, fresh kale, all sort of produce. We show you how to grow it, too. Important things.
But more than spinach, we need stories. Stories about how to be human, how to survive the incessant urge for divinity that is driving us insane and that is whacking our planet to pieces. The perfection of the physical level is in diversity and beauty, not in boundless limitless perfection. Striving for quality is great, but we get the physical and spiritual level all mixed up! We see narrow, limited minds driving for incessant physical growth. Limitless perfection is for the mind and spirit, not the physical! The debris that is falling by the wayside of physical perfection cannot humanly be ignored the way it presently is. We need to deal with it!
And how to deal with it is found in stories. The one thing we need most, is stories, old, hence time-tested true stories, not the lies of modern advertising. We need myth, for it holds instruction from our ancestors, who played the puzzle called Life from the very dawn of time.We need humor that keeps us rocking, we need common sense about good life, gently moving with the tides of nature. Simple ways to make daily life a joy and a pleasure, inspiring the Joneses rather than keeping up with them. Hi there all you lovely Joneses outthere. We love you and you’re great. We won’t beat you. How could we. You are unique.
My answer was to become a writer. Writing is a lot harder than pharmacy which takes only 8 years in universtiy to master; writing took 33 years before my first book got published; 19 more have been published since. My last book is called Whisperbook (Het Fluisterboek), and it is a beautiful story of a young girl trying to cope with her best friends death wish. Too many teenagers flirt with death. It’s terrible issue that breaks my heart just reading about it. But these young people are only living out what is happening, big time, on a larger scale. It is a story we all share, because we all see our dearest and nearest heading to an untimely death from diabetes, cancer, heart failure.How could our hearts not fail? Even our society is contemplating suicide on a frightening scale, killing the only body we have, the Earth. And for what? For an I-phone 5 and another bag of crisps.
Go on Apple, sue me. You might just get your money before the world collapses.
So we need myth and stories. After 45 years of studying the Machinery of the Universe, I am now near to finishing the one book that matters, my life’s work.
It is called In Persephone’s Arms.
In Persephone’s Arms has it’s own special blog where you can read all about it. And if you happen to be a publisher in an Englsh speaking country, give me a call because the translation rights are currently under offer. Be the first and get lucky: my last book was auctioned, in Germany alone, by 8 publishers and sold many thousands of copies. You can find me on Twitter: @magischebongerd .
The rest of the answer is The Honeybees. You know what Honeybees do in winter, when outlook is bleak and the flowers are dead? They do the Big Hug. That’s what. We need them. We really do.
So what is your story? Tell us about it, add your comment. We love to hear from you.
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