A special post for Louan

Posted on June 9, 2010


On Monday night Louan wrote on her Facebook wall.  Would her friends (who are legion) please send her good thoughts, white light, prayers, and visions of healing on Tuesday morning at 11:00 am, as she was going in for a biopsy and would need all the help she could get.  An astonishing variety of loving messages poured in.  I think her favorite may have been the one from her friend Jim: Good thoughts and a pinch of pixie dust . . .

On Tuesday morning when I arrived to cart her off to Traverse City, Louan was carrying a cat bag.  Regular readers will recall that the Happy Cat Bag is an unfailing harbinger of good fortune.  I did not take a picture of Louan with hers, but it was just like this one, and it cheered us up, indeed it did. 

On the way down we digressed into this and that, with a pause at cedar smoke.  It had not occurred to me that smudging the car with a little cedar smoke might have been a good idea.  These are not the sorts of things that occur to  me.  I am a fairly point-to-point thinker.  Louan is a non-linear person, and I regretted the lack of cedar.  We were, after all, on a mission to combat an Invasive Species, and surely the sturdy native tree would be a valuable ally.

By 11:00 Louan was sitting in a waiting room, swathed in an uncomfortable gown, surrounded by women who had bought shoes from her.  This was more helpful than you might think.  We take our shoes seriously around here.  Besides, spotting shoes that she has sent to a good home is one of Louan’s favorite pastimes.  And everyone who ever bought shoes from Louan is always happy to see her.  The shoes fit.  They are comfortable.  They are . . . pretty.  The air filled with good thoughts, and maybe a little pixie dust.  Then it was Louan’s turn.  She disappeared through the door.  We waited, the Sisterhood of the Shoes.  My mind wandered to thoughts of cedar. 

After a time, Louan emerged.  The biopsy, she said, had hurt about as much as she thought it would.  She was feeling fine.  She had an ice pack tucked against the tender area.  She would get some results early next week.  She had an idea for a lot better design for a Biopsy Gown.  Right now she would like to go to Sleder’s for a good lunch with a good drink, please.  And off we went, Louan, her friend Joanne, two Happy Cat Bags and me. 

We did not kiss the Sleder’s moose–that, Louan says, is for Fudgies, although personally I would have kissed the moose if I had been tall enough to reach it without a ladder.  The excellent waitress brought Louan a margarita in a mug the size of a Viking  drinking horn.  I, alas, was the designated driver and the excellent waitress brought me a lemonade.  I thought some more about cedar, and the importance of rituals.  A candle is good.

Then it was time to go home and Await Developments.  This may be the hardest part.  I hope this will be the hardest part.  I am thinking good, good thoughts and envisioning healthy tissue and hearing a doctor say that everything is going to be just fine.  I am thinking that I could cut down a whole cedar tree and make a bonfire of it, smoke rising, rising, carrying Invasive Species away from Louan.  She is not, she says, attached to any body part that has cancer in it.  Take it off, she says, and get it away from me!  

This morning I saw the sun sparkling in raindrops on the cedar, and I thought, well, smudging the Writing Studio and Bait Shop might be better than no smudging at all.  It’s harder than you might think, lighting green cedar.  But a determined person can usually get a fire going eventually.   

I like to think of myself as a rationalist.  That is pure whistling in the dark on my part, for I have all sorts of notions I do not admit to myself until I catch myself tossing salt over my shoulder or something of the sort.  So I do not exactly believe in smudging, although it is a satisfying ritual.  On the other hand, I believe in Louan, and I believe there are more things in heaven and earth than I understand.  I believe in the power of a room full of women wearing ugly gowns and cute shoes.  Bless every one of the Sisterhood, and the Brotherhood, too, while we’re at it.  Bless you every one.