Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

An Infection and A Personal Confession

After gardening yesterday I was sore today.

Slumped outside rereading Orson Scott Card's wonderful latest novel, Shadow of the Giant, I happened to notice my left middle finger looked... misshapen.

I squeezed it and... man that felt good. So I squeezed a little harder.

All of sudden a flash of relieved sensation and a spurt of pus rewarded my efforts, and I discovered I had an infected finger.

Minutes later and several runs of bicarb soda and vinegar to sterilise it, I rubbed a garlic clove into the area to make the healing easier by minimising the everyday bacteria gathered there. And repeated until the inflamed throbbing sensation subsided.

Now the swelling persists but the inflammation is replaced by a healing sensation which is a welcome relief in any healing episode.

And now also I have a confession of responsibility to make. Here goes:

I bite my nails.

I bite them savagely, carelessly and without remorse.

I bite them til the skin shows then I bite the skin til it's calloused and hard and then I bite sometimes until it bleeds.

Looking at my nails now, one observes the misshapen wedges and layers, like multiple miniature pink fans, made by the bite marks. The little fingers on my right and left hands have sores at the beginning of the nail where it was bitten too hard. Only my right thumb looks evenly shaped.

The pad of the fingers protrudes half as far as the nails themselves beyond the edge of the nail. Except in the infected finger where the left side of the finger swells out as far as the nail itself.

I am grieved and repelled by this habit which - in combination with having my hands in the dirt - brings on an infection. I wish I could stop. I have tried but I have not been able to so far.

Any advice would be welcome!


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