My Short Stories

The Psychiatrist.

by charlie dimech

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Chapter 6.
The psychiatrist returned home and resumed his practice. He had not been identified in the satellite link-up and his practise was normalized over the next six months.
Questions were now being asked in State Parliament however.
Soon the Masonic Club in Sydney was closed. Masonic Halls were confiscated and handed over to local councils or church groups for use as parish halls. Membership of freemasonry was made illegal in the State of NSW. Thousands volunteered their resignation.
 It was at this point that my house was bombed.  Fortunately I was out at the time. My wife had all the excitement she wanted and had left me before this time. I moved to a city hotel. I stayed away from the psychiatrist and several months later decided to travel overseas to visit India.
I arrived at Karachi Airport to the heat and the flies and made my wayto a compound which stood beside the central markets. I rested up for a few days.
Lying in bed the overhead fan seemed to resonate in its whirring to the sound of the street bazarre.
 The air was thick with the live smells and feeling of humanity. All humanity was on show here. There was no hiding behind the facade of European and general western preoccupation, and this gave the climate, the social atmosphere a rich, vibrant, human dimension.
Several weeks later I travelled to Kerala where a spanish priest whom I had known previously, had a mission parish. I assumed he was still there, although he was getting on in years, and he was.
Fr Cruz had two helpers in his diocese and he tried his best to take care of those in need as well as care for their spiritual nourishment in such a way that their faith grew, and helped them at every level in a land with little if any outside help.
He had often canvassed privately for support in the US and other countries as he believed the rich should do more to help the poor  and he did not believe in letting ignorance be the deciding factor in this critical outcome. He was largley sucessful and as well as feeding and clothing the poor in his diocese he had managed to build a church for worship from funds contributed by overseas donors.
I listened patiently as he outlined his grievances, in his broken Enblish about the ignorance of the west in not seeing a just, more equitable world as being to the advantage of all.
I went on to tell him of our recent experiences and he was generous with his genuine sympathy and began to realize the source of all his grievances.
"No wonder the world is in such a mess." He exclaimed, in Spanish. At least that was the best translation I could decipher. but he took all this new information with a profound dignity and acceptance.It was a new cross but one which made the old one more explicable. I had to admire this old mans acceptance of life as it is. I had to admire his aquiescence to Divine Providence.
He was a model of sobriety, that moral and intellectual sobriety born of an unselfish lifestyle which we are incapable of feeling in the affluent west to a large degree where government handouts alleviate much of the suffering otherwise.
I flew on to Bangladesh where I met an old aquaintance who had offered her life in the support of an orphanage. She had survived floods, hurricanes, the lot of the Bangladeshi people and was a true scholar in the art of suffering for the sake of comfort of her fellow man, woman and child.
She had always had the capacity to make my heart sing. Now it could not be prevented from singing.
 I stayed there for two weeks then left for Africa.
Travelling down the east coast of the continent I am transported in time to a land where time does not dominate your life but simply stands as signposts along the way.
Time is measured twice a day and you did things with a rythmn as slow rolling as time itself seemed to flow here. this was not a product of laziness. rather it was a domination of the human spirit over the forces which in the west control it.
time was secondary. Time was like the mountains and it didn't mind if you were a little longer getting there as long as you journeyed in wholeheartedness and love.
Time was like the clouds. They moved, slowly, rythmically and majestically, and so did time.
The human spirit has its own rythmn here and society moved to it.
It was in tune with the seasons. It was in tune with the morning. It was in tune with the evening.
That was Africa. That is Africa.
The land from which many were taken into slavery possessed its present, no doubt its past.
A people who unlike the west were not slaves to time. That was Africa. That is what gave it its grandeur and its natural landscape gloried in and reflected this very dominance over and freedom of the human spirit, from time.