My father was raised as a Christian Scientist, and, although I wasn’t raised in that religion, I have been influenced by many of his beliefs.
More specifically,I tend to believe that illness is the result of an imbalance in an individual’s life. I can trace almost all illnesses in my life to periods of high stress. Little wonder that the longest single period of illness in my life came right after I returned from Vietnam.
Perhaps then, it is not surprising that I spend yesterday suffering from some sort of vertigo. When I woke up and tried to cross the room, I was unable to walk the short distance to the bathroom without balancing against the walls. This dizziness continued throughout the morning. I was so frightened by these episodes that for the first time in my life I called my wife at work to take me to the doctor’s office. At the doctor’s office I was told that they didn’t know what caused this kind of episode but that it would probably clear up after taking an over-the-counter medication used to treat air sickness. Relieved, but somewhat chagrinned by my panic, I told my wife it would be safe for her to return to work.
Looking back, how appropriate it seems that the utter confusion I have felt over the chain of events in the last few weeks should manifest itself in a physical form of dizziness.
My fear that President Bush was a figurative Captain Ahab leading the USA into a disastrous attempt to destroy the forces of evil was soon replaced by a fear that perhaps we weren’t going to go far enough in solving our long-term problems there. Perhaps, as in Iraq, we would settle for killing a few thousand relatively-innocent Arabs and stop short of solving the real problem by getting rid of the leader who was the source of the problem. Even worse, perhaps we would create several new bin Laden’s in our attempts to overthrow the one we had created in an earlier attempt to overthrow the "Evil Empire."
Trying to understand the roots of our problems in this area and the solutions to these problems seems to lead to confusion rather than to enlightenment. How do we explain the ideas and attitudes of the Arab common people? How can we change these perceptions of America? Can we ever change them? Is this problem the proverbial Gordian knot that can only be solved by the sword?
Little wonder,then, that my body, as well as my mind, is beset by dizziness and confusion.