Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Inoculated by the Wild

Definition: 1. to give a small amount of a disease to a person or animal as a protection against that disease; 2. to introduce an idea into someone's mind in hope that the idea or lesson will [figuratively] grow and become part of the person
Synonyms: immunize, vaccinate, aid, inject, prevent [sickness], protect, ingrain, introduce, insert, implant
Tips: Inoculate is derived from the Latin inoculare, which means "graft in, implant." To inoculate someone means to implant them with something, whether figuratively, with an idea, or literally, with a vaccine against an illness. Source:

A ragged poultice made from the juice of wheat grass and its pulp is wrapped with a small leaf of la'i (Hawaiian ti leaf). Held at first with a thin rubber band, then one of my hair twisties, and now a couple of proper Band-Aids the poultice does its work. Green stains seep from the wet pulp as I sit to write about something I'm not quite sure is the truth though it truly feels that way in my guts. A few days ago as I went to the warm corner of our Au Hale (the bath house/sewing room/laundry) to get my scarf and jacket a spider frightened me or I frightened her from her cozy place. Instinctively I flung the scarf and Spider went flying against the upright. I had stunned her. "I am so sorry," right away I knew she was hurt and there was nothing I could do to undo my act. I watched for several moments to assuage my guilt and when I saw that she was alive though injured (one of her legs was dangling) and crawling into a new dark hole I finished dressing and went on with the errand which was my original goal.

Two days ago I noticed a small something on my right finger -- the one that types the U and the H -- the pointing finger. It looked like a pin prick. I thought back to what that might be but nothing came to mind, until yesterday. Spider. Two remedies from the plant world are my first-aiders: Noni and Wheat grass. I went for the remedy from home first and slept with a poultice of the Noni fruit leather over night. This morning I opened the wrapping. The bite was infected and two small pricks were visible. More than likely, Spider. Choosing not to panic nor deny something was going on that required attending I told Pete about it. He swiftly asked, "Did you try wheat grass?" I had not. Next he said, "Look it up (on the Internet) and see what you find." I did that. It was early morning and not quite dawn, too dark to go to the Green House to cut and juice the tray of growing wheat. While Pete finished making our oatmeal I searched the Internet and found things to do. Again, I chose not to panic, but acted.

While Pete sat at the laptop and ate his breakfast I pulled on warm clothes and a hat and headed for the Green House. A slim row of the green oxygen and mineral rich wheat grass was my second source of first-aid. Juiced, the grass from Hard Winter Wheat Berries is always growing somewhere near-by. It's a routine, a habit Pete began years ago when we were raw foodies.  Thankful for his consistency we use the juice to nurse ourselves and our JOTS for all manner of injury. This summer when I noticed the Tall One alongside the Quonset was being ruptured by the industrious ants who nest under his skin I asked, "How can I help?" Softly I heard "A poultice of grass," as an answer. I did that and from my vardo window I see the poultice now dried from the summer heat now part of the Tall One and no ants.

In several places in my daily travels to blogs and sites the idea of inoculation has stimulated much commentary (on the blogs) and in my meditations. The definition that precedes this musing is one of many definitions available on the Internet. I chose this one for it offered a broader and more meaningful bridge to cross. From the definition above I found these synonyms useful: " aid, inject, prevent [sickness], protect, ingrain, introduce, insert, implant." I thought of the Tall One with its implant of wheat grass poultice. Again and again the image of our sleek black huntress JOTS after a bout with prey who fought fiercely and inflicted her with wounds. Green juice and poultices applied. Licking the wound and the juice made the healing happen with time.

Astrological inoculation is a topic being discussed at my astrologer's blog. Those discussion stimulate me to make connections between the incidents of my life, my world where the wild is an apothecary. As well as the positions and angles of the heavens which do provide me with awareness, there are options in my first-aid kit that tether me to the wild and I am awed. Here, this morning, Terri Windling offers one more offering, an ointment of art and words that inoculate me. Inoculate me as in 'graft me' to the wild rather than to cure me of the wild I hope to learn successively to note the messages and the messengers where I find them. Windling quotes a writer I wish I had known while she lived in her skin. Ellen Meloy is writer I was introduced to this morning, thanks to Terri Windling. From her book Eating Stone: Imagination and the loss of the wild is this beautiful thought from Meloy:

"Homo sapiens have left themselves few places and scant ways to witness other species in their own worlds, an estrangement that leaves us hungry and lonely. In this famished state, it is no wonder that when we do finally encounter wild animals, we are quite surprised by the sheer truth of them."
Surprised by the sheer truth of how the wild inoculates me through a bite from Spider, a sting from Wasp, a song from Raven, a voice from The Tall Ones -- this  happens as I age and live day and night in the woods. Rather than to cut myself off from the estrangement Meloy speaks of I hope there is enough strength with me to to become more wild, rather than tamed. Stupid? No, unusual in my route is how someone described my ways. Pela. Perhaps.

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