This is Cheryl Lee’s eleventh visit to Ghost Ranch; Paul’s first. They aren’t enrolled in any workshops; they parked their vintage teardrop trailer in the campground and are enjoying the place without an itinerary.
Cheryl is a pleinair watercolorist. She showed me pics of two landscapes that she painted this week, striking compositions with brilliant autumn foregrounds and syrupy skies, even on an iPhone. Yesterday, she gave one to friend. “It was a gift of love, to create this image for someone I care about.” Today, someone approached while she was painting and bought the other. “I know I sold that painting because yesterday I gave one away. That person could still feel the love in my work.”
Paul is an osteopath in Durango, Colorado; past the age when many retire but uninterested in stopping work he loves so much. “I’m down to three days a week.” Paul’s off days are devoted to writing. His first book, Interface: Mechanisms of Spirit in Osteopathy (R. Paul Lee, Stillness Press) seeks to rekindle the spiritual aspects that make osteopaths fundamentally different from medical doctors. Paul’s witnessed more merging between MDs and DO’s. Given the predominance of MD’s, that merging often feels more like a takeover. Within a decade, the training for the two types of physicians will be essentially identical. Most likely, that will further dilute DO’s inclusion of the spirit in treatment., but Paul chooses to look at it as an opportunity to bring osteopathic melding of physical and spiritual well-being to all medical students. Thus his new book, The Cure for Common Medicine, makes the case for spiritual as well as physical education and treatment.
How will we live tomorrow?
“I finished a book today about a guy who created, through physics, a machine that sends you to ‘superpositions’ that allow you to live and observe life from different perspectives. The guy who invented the machine geos to a superposition, then returns, as the altered person, and changes places with his original self. Turns out there are many variations of this same guy all experiencing different realities. The original guy has all these phantasmagorical experiences. But he doesn’t have what he cherishes most – to be with his wife and son. The book made me appreciate being in the moment. It made me appreciate what I have. Your question reminded me of that.” – Paul