We sit down at the table carrying our bowls of beef curry and rice with cucumber and yoghurt.  As the boys hoe into their food, I (fresh from a weekend of chi kung and an acupuncture session with Roy and a walk under the stars) spread my hands over my bowl of food, hovering them a couple of inches above it and close my eyes.

“WHAT are you doing, Mum?!” ask Samuel, in a tone that suggests I’m up to one of my crazy antics again.

“Adding some chi to my food,” I say, smiling serenely and closing my eyes again.

“Damn!” says Peter as he sits down at the table, “I knew I forgot to add something!”

The boys shriek with laughter and I also crumble from my serenity to join the loud raucous laughter.

“Actually, I do add that when I’m cooking,” says Peter. “It’s the love and care I put into the preparation.”

“I know,” I say. “I’m just adding a little extra zing….it’s instead of supplements.  I’m giving up supplements – except for iron and a little zinc.  Roy says we don’t need them – that the whole industry is built on fear – all we need is love, good food and lots of time outside…..and chi kung, of course.”

“Of course!” says Peter, with a note of skepticism.  And then: “You mean all those thousands of dollars we’ve spent on supplements over the years were wasted!”

“Uh huh,” I say, with my mouth full of curry, feeling very pleased about my liberation from supplements – that I won’t have to feel guilty about not taking them anymore.

“I knew it!” says Peter.

“Yeah – I’ve been feeling resistant to taking them ever since I started the chi kung this year, but wasn’t sure if I was just being lazy.  Roy said I need to listen to my body and trust what it tells me…”

I’m aware that I’m beginning to sound a little like a disciple or a groupie with “Roy says this” and “Roy says that”.  So I change the topic again:  “I felt like a Star Maiden when I was walking with Molly tonight….”

Samuel splurts his food back into his bowl as he guffaws with laughter and Peter and J-P look at me in bemusement.

“What the hell is a Star Maiden?” asks Samuel when he’s almost recovered his composure.

“A maiden who comes from the stars,” I smile at them all, enjoying their amusement, and also enjoying speaking my truth – expressing my other-wordliness without shame or pretence at ordinariness.  Peter was telling me yesterday that one of the qualities that first attracted him to me was my ‘unworldliness’.  So why do I need to hide it anymore?

“Well you sound like a retarded monkey bottom,” exclaims Samuel, who was claiming that title for himself a little earlier in the evening while larking about for our amusement.

“If you’re a Star Maiden, what am I?” asks Peter.

“It’s nearly time for Dr Who,” interrupts J-P, checking the clock.

“Dr Who on Channel Two!” sings Peter.

This gives me an idea: “You could be a Time Lord,” I suggest to Peter.

“You mean like when I’m late for an appointment and I’m proud of it?”

“Not exactly.”  The conversation subsides into quiet happy eating.  And I recall the beautiful feelings I experienced towards the end of my acupuncture session.  I decide to share these too.

“I had an amazing session with Roy, I felt like I was on the planet that…”

At this point both my sons and my husband all collapse in uncontrollable mirth, and I too am doubled up laughing at myself.

“You felt as though you were on the planet!” ridicules Samuel, as the laughter subsides temporarily.

“And might one ask where else you’d be?” asks J-P, lifting one eyebrow.

“No, not THIS planet…the planet THAT…I hadn’t finished my sentence.”

“Which planet exactly?” asks J-P, looking at me sideways under the frothy overhang of his hair, as if he’s not sure he wants to hear the answer.

“The one with the winged whales that communicate telepathically with subtle nuances of colour.”

At this point Samuel bangs the table several times with his open hand then falls on the floor laughing.

“It’s a gaseous planet….” I explain.  “I felt like I was floating in a sea of colours.  It was very peaceful.”

“Sounds like a lot of hot air to me,” says J-P.

“This family is bark raving mad,” says Peter, shaking his head and looking at me fondly.  I look back and grin.

“Yes, it’s wonderful, isn’t it!” I say as we all gradually calm down enough to finish our meals.

February, 2009