A little more than twenty years ago, I met an old doctor who made me understand that I had to take care of myself if I wanted to live. With an austere approach, the man enjoined me to lose weight to control the beginning of diabetes. Early in our visits, he asked me about my parents’ health check-ups. He explained to me that healing the present began with understanding the past of my ancestors and that heredity played a significant role in what my life would be like.
The 80-year-old man, who ate whole foods, Japanese style as he called it, did his laps in his condo pool every day. An admirable man, a bit gruff, quite green as the ladies would say, who extended our meetings to the chagrin of his patients waiting outside the door when he realized I was following his advice to the letter.
If my parents, grandparents, and sisters were suffering from this, that, or the other, then there was a good chance that I was suffering from something from that pool of possibilities.
So he prescribed preventive medication in line with these probabilities.
These DNA ties that bind us to the long lineage of our ancestors certainly do not explain everything. It puts our free will into perspective. No matter what we do, the complex mathematics of life will solve the equation by itself.
A fellow marathon colleague recently confessed to me that he was afraid that all his effort to get in shape might come to nothing, that it might not make him live longer, when we know that incorrigible smokers can survive the most intense of athletes.
If we individually escape the statistics, the calculations remain correct. Our lives would be neither the fruit of chance nor an inescapable path cemented in a destiny that is heavier than our will.
Astrologers will smile here. What is in the sky is like what is on Earth. We sail in an ocean of tangibles and random possibilities. The course is known, the terms left to our discretion.
We have the choice to live, not to die, but our life is ours. Or not. Because not all of us have received in our hands those more or less winning tickets that feed the Hollywood stories.
Still, it is intriguing, or amusing, to note that all my sisters were born with a Moon in Earth sign (three in Capricorn, one in Virgo). If my mother has a Moon in Aries, it is conjunct... to Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, an Earth sign par excellence. As for my father, the distance between his Sun and Moon is in... Capricorn, and he married a woman "radiating" this energy to perhaps resolve this inner tension that animated him. His Venus is in conjunction with... Saturn. His Moon is in conjunction with Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius. I have my Moon in Sagittarius, very close to Jupiter and... Saturn is... in Capricorn.
Is it a coincidence or the expression of a dance with inextricable steps?
It could also be a concurrency that can be explained by statistics. Still, it is possible to draw links, read the stars and understand the ground on which we put our feet.
The important thing, I guess, is to nourish one’s ability to tell, to weave one’s story, beautiful or horrible. This storytelling alone can give true meaning to what we do for ourselves and for others, helping us to put our certainties into perspective while integrating into our hearts the strange music of others’ existence.
It is a bit like the image at the beginning of this text. It is, in fact, not a distant nebula but the digital transformation of a simple photo of the bottom of my bowl used to knead my bread... Like what, there is resemblance and belonging in everything. It is enough to ramble for the pleasure of sailing on the ocean of our hours.