Indian Summer: rejected by Gersen Therapist. so exploring new approaches to living flamenco style

Have not written my blog for a week or two and now took me several minutes to get into it as the protocols are infinitely forgettable! In the interim i have had a lovely  visit from my ten week old grandson Theo with his parents  Tom and Bea – with a great day trip to  North Berwick and the Lobster Shack.    Then i have been four days on a canal boat to Glasgow (thanks to Liza Coates) which was wonderful: fresh air, swans, ducks, cranes, sheep, cattle – a parrallel world away from the motorway with  fishermen, joggers and dog walkers passing by. Canal boating is relaxing but also continual activity sailing  steering, passing over the Falkirk wheel on a  very windy day;  through locks and raised  bridges, and through tunnels. Bed early and up early. Lovely lifestyle.  Only two  hours back by bus!  Challenged all notions of time as we / I live it today really.

Have also been unsuccesfully trying to complete  a chapter on ‘new song’ music in South America in 1968 period, a subject i know back to front and sideways – every angle really: still the author /editors,  who are keen, are much younger and our approach diverges hugely – I am more discursive and a story teller – they want ‘demonstration’ and ‘proof’. I have done two very different versions for them but they find both lacking in the kind of argument  and approach they want. Despite their keeping with me i doubt i will manage to sculpt my knowledge to fit their requirements. Part of me is not enjoying the pressure and their lack of enthusiasm!  finding  focusing on writing tricky as i want to  keep working at  my new shedules of diet, juicing, enemas, tai chi, yoga, plus seeing people  and just living! Made me feel frustrated and grumpy and general feelings of dis-satisfaction.  We all want people to love our work and when they do not it raises issues like being ‘weighed in the  balance and found wanting’.  I have spent 35+ years writing and editing…  and should just maybe realise that my stuff is not for them!

The Gersen therapist  Stephen Gamble decided not to take me on as a patient after all. I am not sure if this is because i got a bit fed up with his delaying and waiting for blood sample results when i had sent them and so prodded him to get a move on as he had my papers for about a month then. I got the impression the therapist/patient relationship from him was inherently hierarchical.  Him saying no (he said Gersen did not suit everyone – maybe he did not like me prodding him, maybe he felt i would not be a ‘good’ patient, as i have only half a colon, and an implant, and amalagm fillings …  all things he mentioned as adverse – he said my  immune system kicking in might reject the implant – i asked for evidence  of this – none was forthcoming, as he ignored that query – i know from reading Gersen books there are things to watch there… ).

Still it felt like being let down, unceremoniously with a bump, when he emailed me to tell me – all rather impersonal and abrupt – which i did point out to him. He had given me the impression he was taking me on, then said latterly he could only decide that when he had ‘all my information’.  I felt i had not ticked enough of his boxes. There was an inference of having these things meant i brought my situation upon myself which while it may be true is rather hard one to projkect onto someone. He could have commented about being unhappy the breast implant and other things at the start… I explained to him one could not just ring the doctor /surgeon and have  an implant taken out like that. It’s a major operation and one i would not wish or be able  to go through. Also  after my colon surgery and  chemotherapy treatment it is simply not feasible or possible.

I had spoken to another female Brazilian Gersen therapist the weekend before, who got in touch with my via Ginny Fraser as a mutual contact, and she said Gersen  is similar to a religion and one must give oneself completely to it.  I said what if one wants to go away (like on the canal boat)  and she said ‘you don’t’! Sounded rather fundamentalist.  Maybe necessarily so. I am left with a far from satisfactory  experience  as  Gamble may have not wanted me as a patient for various reasons  – say because of my recent chemotherapy, the breast cancer  implant etc – but he could have been more kind,  caring, empathetic  and diplomatic in the way he communicated with me personally. He sent back all my papers and cheque in an envelopeby post  without even a note. So he is not someone  i would ever recomend even if he did help cure my Cuban contact Leo Gamble. Maybe i am not submissive enough. Certainly not in my natire to be submissive, fortunately or unfortunatel,y whichever way you look at it. Maybe  it only  works if you follow it 100%  which has always been a question for me as after chemo i am sure  proteins and other things are important.

Meanwhile i continue to take my enzymes;  juicing (about 3  a day); eating oatmeal, fruit, fish, rice, chicken; doing  1-2 coffee enemas which are quite easy once one is used to them. It is time consuming but so be it.  Didn’t do enemas on canal boat!  I have found an inspirational  yoga class with veteran Rosemary Leburn.  I am doing my TAoist Tai Chie weekly. Also having reflexology from Rona and massage from various people (Valeska, Dee Taylor, Napier-Thuja people). Energy healing from Sara Trevelyan (like flying).  I am going to London on 11 October to consult Dr Etienne Callebout (recomended by Ginny Fraser) and who Andrew at Edinburgh Maggie Centre (who i go to talk to regularly), has heard about too.

I have spoken to Callebou on the  phone and he advocates jucing (green juices especially on mon, wed, fridays to alterante with other juices on other days to stimulate the immune system -jump start it i guess); enemas; hot water bottle held to liver with feet in mustard and paprika foot bath; hot baths a few hours after  quercetin pills etc – not done all he told me yet – litle by little. It actually takes time to get into new routines and get your head round things.

Meanwhile it is glorious weather – an Indian summer –  got to get out and enjoy it today. Friends Giovanna, Jules  and I have met to sing (which we all did together in the 80s) which was fun  and and  we will continue to do it. Maybe Alicia will join us.

Also a record company i have worked with before asked me to do a 3 CD Flamenco compilation which i have also fitted in while dpoing all these other things. It ahs been a gift to do it. I have been able to focus on listening   to amazing  music of course. I have chosen 45 tracks from my collection – mostly on Nuevos Medios, Bujio and other small Spanish labels. Faly from Bujío near Cádiz  sent me some ‘new’ Terremoto  tracks to use – sublime.   Jerez singer El Terremoto died last year; Granada singer Enrique  Morente too; and Jerez guitarist Moraíto only a few months ago.

Ayeeee flamenco deals with life and  death, suffering and joy  in a way no other music can!


About Jan Fairley

I am an experienced and passionate ethnomusicologist working as an arts and music journalist and broadcaster, writer and editor as well as researcher, lecturer, radio presenter and producer. I have a breadth of organising experience at home and abroad. I am a fluent Spanish speaker. I love travelling and have worked abroad (notably Chile 1971-3 and again in 1994) and researched in Cuba, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Finland.
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