V has to be returned to his mother today. That’s a 10-hour roundtrip for his father to drive so his father’s friend said, “Not a problem. I’ll fly you—four hours tops.” And so V—six years old, twinkly blue eyes, blond hair, dimples—will get his first view of Earth from low altitude.
I studied for my pilot’s license and never flew off the Earth without learning a life-lesson before I returned. One day the lesson was that, from altitude, cows and tombstones are undifferentiated. Another day it was simply that it’s okay to be tired and need to return to Earth. I was young and had to learn that.
V will be flying out of an FBO (fixed base operator) that has a poster that is a photograph taken at medium altitude from a light plane looking down on a small city surrounded by green countryside. The caption is “It’s an ant-eat-ant world out there.” From that point of view, people are not big, complicated and problematic, and the world is green, rolling endlessly into more green. It’s the God’s-eye view: it is man who makes boundaries and fights over them. God made one whole world, indivisible.
In 2001, I called my psychologist and psychiatrist to have breakfast with me on inpatient psychiatry. I told them that I was taking doctors prescribing drugs out of the middle of my life. Henceforth, my health care decisions would be made directly between me and God. If He wanted me to get better then He would show me the way. If He wanted me to dead then I was ready to meet Him on His terms.
In the past thirteen years, God has led me on an extraordinary journey of healing and suffering, truth and justice, good writing and growing in love.
The suffering has been withdrawing from drugs, living with the permanent physical damage caused by antidepressants, and the horrors of the American medical industry, which refuses to admit their drugs do damage or to learn anything about how to heal the damage. When confronted by the unknown, the American medical industry closes its eyes, makes moral judgments instead of medical observations, and acts with meanness: it is the patient’s fault because the patient is a bad person. And no matter if their treatment does no good or actually causes damage, they get paid.
The healing has been entirely in the hands of caring people who believe that the body will heal itself if the treating professional just removes the blockages. They really care about the patient and frequently engage in pleasant conversations about God, medicine and Syracuse University basketball while they are applying healing techniques: Yoga, Swedish massage, Reiki, psychotherapy, physical therapy, lymph massage, LED light therapy, homeopathy, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture. Medicare and Medicaid will not pay for alternative therapies but the health care providers, when they find out that you are really poor, will treat you for free or a substantially reduced cost. Their primary commitment is to your health, not to their wealth.