My Unfolding Life in Five Element Theory
I would enjoy depicting myself balanced within the elements but as things are I cannot. I would like to write assuredly about the state of my elemental positions at the time of my birth but I can only speculate a diagnosis as told through my mother's definition, my mother who is herself out of balance.
I was not ready to be born. My mother induced her labor; she says she feared I ingested the heavy drugs during her inducement because I was an extremely sleepy baby, one that had to be awakened for feedings. As an infant I was quiet requiring little attention. I was born with an enlarged spleen, bowed legs, and pigeon toes. In my baby pictures I look sallow and drolly- very Earth.
A year and a half later consciousness and awareness bubbled up from my belly through my lips with a voracious appetite appeased by feeding me with two spoons in succession. This demand caused my mother then pregnant with the third child much irritation for I shouted I cried I demanded attention - Wood wood would if I could and I did. I gained weight. Therapeutic braces were put on my legs and feet: Spleen nine to one, Stomach thirty-six to forty-five, UB forty to sixty-seven, Kidney ten to one. And then came the phase of high fevers that lasted 4 to 5 days on end.
I developed a mystery lung condition- Metal - that required examinations from a slew of pediatricians. My father carried me to the appointments through brightly painted clinic corridors where I and the clowns with large balloons catatonically floated on my toddler brain. The doctors concluded I had pleurisy; they instructed my parents to keep me away from the chickens but we were no where close to farms or animals. I develop a taste for baby aspirin and one night with a craving took the bottle on the sink in the green tiled bathroom glowing under the nite-light and ingested it all. My parents woke to the smell of oranges and an overdosed gurgling baby on their bedroom floor. Was I grieving for myself, was I only looking to fulfill my sweet cravings, were Earth and Metal in conflict? To this day a cold stethoscope on my chest gives me a jolting yet familiar sensation and I believe baby aspirin, that taste-bud tantalizer would be a hit as an ice cream flavor.
Two years after my dances with the clowns while sitting in front of T.V. the world changed and I noticed. Chaos, bewilderment then silence prevailed in the days following President Kennedy's assassination. Our young country faced death and mourned. But my generation, in our age of innocence, suffered the dent. The damn broke and Water flowed into life.
I was a sweet child: heartfelt, curious, full of joy, and strong - Fire. My Shen gave hope, my Qi was filled with good intentions but the world around me was tough and stressful. My father was the only doctor in a small farming community, our hospital serviced the surrounding five towns. Protocol for answering our home phone was that of polite receptionists in a clinic. Discipline and perfection were expected from us.
I participated in high school sports and social activities, I was an honor roll student; a normal American kid in the 70's but my youth, like my country, was filled with flux. We were free and windy- Fire and Wood. The pressures of capitalistic success snaked into everyone's lives as did Vietnam, angry societies in revolt, free sex, drugs, rock and roll, Nixon's resignation and feminism. My mother was exhibiting odd behavior and my father's bustling practice made him emotionally unavailable. I failed at my self-appointed task to save my parents from divorce and I departed for college with the knowledge my family was unraveling. I became rudderless and wild, finished my first year of college then quit and I never took shelter in my parents home again- Fire to Metal.
Adolescence on my own was filled with Fire and Water and Wood aches. I was a dancer, an actress and a waitress who raked in the cash selling food and wine and spent it with my friends eating food and drinking. We were athletes, playmates, frolickers. In 1995 while doing a stunt I suffered a pelvic injury which threw me into heavy Metal years. Forced to quit dancing I grieved deeply and cried, lost my stamina and weight, developed sinus problems and moved to Chicago where I lived in darkness, fearful and cold - Water- I drank much to escape reality and one day before work while eating my employee meal I had a seizure. The medics tried to strap me on a gurney but in a blacked out state I fought them off by kicking, and wiggling. I bit one til he bled. I was hospitalized, diagnosed with a seizure disorder and drugged. With effort I toned my life down grew quiet and pensive, moved to NY where I worked as a waitress pursued acting gigs and studied jazz vocals -Earth. That city showed me depth, control, maturity and the frustration of pursuing heartfelt acting as a business.
These days with the wisdom of adulthood, I have less dramatic fluctuations and reactions to it all. The five elements are woven into a comfy pair of slippers. Only natural that I catch my foot and pull a yarn or two chipping Wood, dinging Metal, spilling Water; but the knowledge and reminders I'm receiving from this course and the groovy free acupuncture sessions courtesy of AMC set a focus, realignment and excitement toward the future with a sweet, joyful hopefulness of my inner child.
Make way for menopause!