Sometimes it’s lovely to be sick. I used to eat those chewable vitamins like candy and I love a nice pot of tea. On the other hand, I’m just glad it’s not typhus.
There are hundreds of names for typhus – jail fever, ship fever, camp fever, hospital fever, and my favorite, putrid fever. But luckily there are no fleas or lice around presently that will give me this nasty illness. Maybe if I was living in Medieval times it would be different. Lice were an everyday thing back then.
Even now lice is still more common in certain places than the spoiled brats of the continental America might realize. And I’m sure most people are forced to just deal with it, comb their hair with those neat fine-toothed combs and be content to live with the louse that has chosen their head as a house.
My lice and me…we caused the bubonic plague. Well I guess a few mice and rats can share the credit if they must. Those would have been some busy days for the physicians and blood letters of the middle ages. Too bad the bubonic plague was quite contagious…so even the physicians were doomed, no matter how accurate their star charts might have been or how balanced the four humors were.
Luckily typhus isn’t contagious. You have to be bitten first, by some insect.
In an article I was reading it talked about the downfall of folk remedies. The church banned a lot of mystical spells and magic that supposedly worked on invalids because those spiritual medications didn’t mesh with the Christian doctrines they were trying to establish world wide.
(Personally, sometimes I think it’s a mind over body thing…plus a few Advil and maybe a heftier prescription if things really get bad.) Praying to God might put your mind at ease, but I think I’ll take a visit to the nearest licensed doctor any day over hopeful, blind devotion.
Speaking of God. These are holy days. The Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil. Easter is supposed to be the most important holiday in the Christian faith, much more noteworthy than Christmas. And so (at least in the Catholic Church) you sit reverently in the pews for three nights patiently waiting for Easter. On Thursday you might approach the altar and get your feet washed by a complete stranger, and on Friday you might silently walk down the aisle to venerate the cross (kiss a wooden rendition of the crucifix, or just place your hand piously on the smooth wood). On Saturday it’s more and more waiting, because somehow Jesus would defy death – and he did, didn’t he? And this vigil is supposed to last all night until the celebration on Easter morning.
So how does the bunny and the eggs fit in to all this? The egg I can see maybe. Sometimes Mary Magdalene is painted with an egg – symbolic. I wonder how many Christians actually know the history and traditions of the Easter holiday? What does it mean to them? I know for most of the kids it will mean a lot of chocolate and hard-boiled eggs. And colorful Easter baskets.
But really it’s about death and sin, and guilt. Oh, and of course resurrection.
So if the medieval church doesn’t coincide with mystical remedies and magical spells and so on, where do miracles fit in? Where does the resurrection come from? Really Christianity is more mystical than anything else I can think of. Religions in general actually.
Maybe Jesus was never really dead. Maybe it was a conspiracy. Maybe it’s all a hoax. Or maybe it really did happen exactly the way it was written. I don’t know, I wasn’t there.
I think I’ll go with Scully on this one. I know there’s an explanation somewhere that makes sense and fits all the criteria. Funny, since she’s Catholic.
Maybe when we reach wherever we’re going it might make more sense. Even if our final destination is only the nothingness of a cold dirt grave and nothing more, or the consuming fire of a cremation, maybe a lavishly decorated tomb with supplies to aid me in my journey to the afterlife. I doubt any of us will be resurrected in some death defying miracle. Does anything really make sense?
There might be another way to think entirely.
And I have no idea where this is going. I just know that if anyone has an infectious disease, they should stay in bed at home and skip church, or if you have a contagious plague, maybe you should pass up the bread and wine during Eucharist. Because it just might take a miracle to save everyone in the congregation.
On another note…which of the four humors best suits you? Sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, or choleric? And why did you choose that?