Are You Having Writer’s Block? Try Homeopathy.
For some reason, I was reminded a little while ago of my first exposure to homeopathy. I had the vague idea that something like that existed but did not pay much attention to it, and I assumed it was just a branch of naturopathy (which it is not, by the way). I did not realize at the time (and this would have been around 1990 or so) that homeopathy was an older form of medicine often practiced in the U.S. during the late 19th and early 20th century. I was aware of 19th-century medicine to the extent that as an archaeologist I encountered evidence of it while excavating historic sites, and I’d read a few papers, and seen presentations at conferences, on the subject. But I had mostly ignored the homeopathy part.
Much later, of course, I moved to Minneapolis. Minneapolis was for a time a sort of Mecca of homeopathy and is the site of some of the more significant showdowns between homeopathy and what we now know of as “modern medicine.” It may be hard to accept this now, but which of the two kinds of medicine should be practiced was not at all clear at the time. Homeopathy was, of course, totally ineffective. Homeopathic treatments did nothing. But the other sorts of medicine that were being practiced often killed the patient. A sip of water may often have been better, or at least less harmful, then bleeding someone or using heavy metals or some other dangerous “cure.”
I happened to end up working on an archaeological site which was the residence of one of the major supporters of homeopathy around the turn of the century. We didn’t find much. In fact, we found only one small fragment of a fragment of a fragment of a fragment….
But I digress.
Anyway, my first exposure to homeopathy was actually visiting a production site for homeopathic substances. I was visiting an old family friend, whom I’ll call “Joshua.” I was staying at Joshua’s house for a couple of days, and he was showing me around. At one point he wanted to show me his current major source of income other than working in the garage. It was his “crystal water” production.
We went into the crystal water production room.
“See this crystal. Nice, isn’t it?”
And it was nice. It was a whopping big fragment of a geode the size of a horse’s head with amethyst crystals. There were some other crystals laying around the room as well.
“I put this in this bucket of water,” showing me a bucket of water, “and for good measure, I sit it under that skylight where moonlight usually comes in. Depending.” Depending on time of day, month, and year, I assumed.
“Then here are my reducing containers,” pointing to a set of large glass jars. “I put one cup of pure crystal water from the bucket into this container, and add ten cups of plain water, and mix,” he made mixing motions. “Then I do it again, one cup of that mixture and ten cups of regular water, and mix.”
I’m thinking…hmmm, this is Joshua stepping on the magic water. Note to self: Do not buy expensive narcotics or anything from this guy.
“And when I’ve done that ten times, I’m done. The crystal water is ready to go into these vials,” there were some vials, “retailing at 12 bucks or so a pop, wholesale at 4 bucks, and I want to sell them online for 6 bucks. Or maybe 7.”
I stared politely at the vials and breathed deeply.
“Then I’ll be able to quit working at the damn garage. What do you think?”
I thought, “Hell, yeah. This is way better than working at the damn garage. But who will buy this stuff?” Well, not many people did buy Joshua’s mixture, but he later got a job channeling a divine entity, and I think that ended up paying a bit better.
You might be wondering what the point of this blog post is. Well, when I started out, I had a point. But then I mixed that up with two references to 19th century archaeology, then I mixed that up with one story about how to make crystal juice, then I mixed that up with a bit about some guy changing his job, then I mixed that up in a metadiscussion of what my point was.
So, now, if you are having trouble coming up with something to write, just read this post. I’m sure it will cause inspiration. Or not.
This entry was posted on Sunday, February 28th, 2010 at 10:14 pm and is filed under Greg Laden. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.