Our parallel destinies

A lit­tle more than twen­ty years ago, I met an old doc­tor who made me under­stand that I had to take care of myself if I want­ed to live. With an aus­tere approach, the man enjoined me to lose weight to con­trol the begin­ning of dia­betes. Ear­ly in our vis­its, he asked me about my par­ents’ health check-ups. He explained to me that heal­ing the present began with under­stand­ing the past of my ances­tors and that hered­i­ty played a sig­nif­i­cant role in what my life would be like.

The 80-year-old man, who ate whole foods, Japan­ese style as he called it, did his laps in his con­do pool every day. An admirable man, a bit gruff, quite green as the ladies would say, who extend­ed our meet­ings to the cha­grin of his patients wait­ing out­side the door when he real­ized I was fol­low­ing his advice to the letter.

If my par­ents, grand­par­ents, and sis­ters were suf­fer­ing from this, that, or the oth­er, then there was a good chance that I was suf­fer­ing from some­thing from that pool of possibilities.

So he pre­scribed pre­ven­tive med­ica­tion in line with these probabilities.

These DNA ties that bind us to the long lin­eage of our ances­tors cer­tain­ly do not explain every­thing. It puts our free will into per­spec­tive. No mat­ter what we do, the com­plex math­e­mat­ics of life will solve the equa­tion by itself.

A fel­low marathon col­league recent­ly con­fessed to me that he was afraid that all his effort to get in shape might come to noth­ing, that it might not make him live longer, when we know that incor­ri­gi­ble smok­ers can sur­vive the most intense of athletes.

If we indi­vid­u­al­ly escape the sta­tis­tics, the cal­cu­la­tions remain cor­rect. Our lives would be nei­ther the fruit of chance nor an inescapable path cement­ed in a des­tiny that is heav­ier than our will.

Astrologers will smile here. What is in the sky is like what is on Earth. We sail in an ocean of tan­gi­bles and ran­dom pos­si­bil­i­ties. The course is known, the terms left to our discretion.

We have the choice to live, not to die, but our life is ours. Or not. Because not all of us have received in our hands those more or less win­ning tick­ets that feed the Hol­ly­wood stories.

Still, it is intrigu­ing, or amus­ing, to note that all my sis­ters were born with a Moon in Earth sign (three in Capri­corn, one in Vir­go). If my moth­er has a Moon in Aries, it is con­junct… to Sat­urn, ruler of Capri­corn, an Earth sign par excel­lence. As for my father, the dis­tance between his Sun and Moon is in… Capri­corn, and he mar­ried a woman “radi­at­ing” this ener­gy to per­haps resolve this inner ten­sion that ani­mat­ed him. His Venus is in con­junc­tion with… Sat­urn. His Moon is in con­junc­tion with Jupiter, ruler of Sagit­tar­ius. I have my Moon in Sagit­tar­ius, very close to Jupiter and… Sat­urn is… in Capricorn.

Is it a coin­ci­dence or the expres­sion of a dance with inex­tri­ca­ble steps ?

It could also be a con­cur­ren­cy that can be explained by sta­tis­tics. Still, it is pos­si­ble to draw links, read the stars and under­stand the ground on which we put our feet.

The impor­tant thing, I guess, is to nour­ish one’s abil­i­ty to tell, to weave one’s sto­ry, beau­ti­ful or hor­ri­ble. This sto­ry­telling alone can give true mean­ing to what we do for our­selves and for oth­ers, help­ing us to put our cer­tain­ties into per­spec­tive while inte­grat­ing into our hearts the strange music of oth­ers’ existence.

It is a bit like the image at the begin­ning of this text. It is, in fact, not a dis­tant neb­u­la but the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion of a sim­ple pho­to of the bot­tom of my bowl used to knead my bread… Like what, there is resem­blance and belong­ing in every­thing. It is enough to ram­ble for the plea­sure of sail­ing on the ocean of our hours.