Another Synchronicity Strikes Again Poem
The Mass. Nursing Association Journal was open to the page when I came in for work.
I was immediately interested as the article was about the inner ear and cochlea which
I had been using for my Labyrinth Workshop as example of spiral form in human body:
the list of symptoms of the inner ear illness included loss of balance, nausea, anxiety and vertigo-ooooh…
Next Sunday as coffee hour after church is winding down I make my way across, get this,
the labyrinth on the floor of the old cathedral crypt hall to the relatively new Canon Missoner
for Evangelism to see what he wants to tell me about the anti-violence work going on
at St. Mary’s the Episcopal church closest to where I live and when I reach the Canon
I see his color does not look too good. He’s kind of grey and green and he’s wobbling
on his folding chair so I ask how he’s doing and he admits he’s not doing very well at all.
I ask if he has chest pain, but, no, he says he has vertigo and soon is laying on the basement
floor as I cut through the Dean’s and the Deacon’s conversation to get them on their cell
phones in order to call the Evangelist’s wife. As we waited for her to come with the S.U.V.
I couldn’t help commenting “I just read about this the last time I was at work. Illnesses
of the inner ear. One is even called the Labyrinthinitis. It’s an infection of the part of the
inner ear the Labyrinth, a set of coiled acoustic chambers that sonically cushion the ear.”
The poor Canon could not see what good knowing that was but I explained Labyrinthinitis
could be treated while vertigo is all too often seen as an unnamed, untreatable emotion.
Anyway we helped the canon up the stairs with his eyes closed and put him in the van with
his wife for the Dean to drive him to the Emergency Room. I went on to work and when I
got home that night there was a message from the Dean speaking this voice of amazement
that the doctor at the hospital said it was you guessed it how about that, yes, Labyrinthinitis.
James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.