The aesthetic of rust is one of my antidotes to the plastic overabundance and digitally manufactured perfection of modern life. Rust is organic; it is fragile and transient. Its smudges of corrosion and colour are imperfect and subtle. Careful scrutiny reveals the beauty of corrosion and degradation.
Is this what a cure looks like? I'm seeing a TCM doctor in hopes of healing what my allopathic doctors cannot. I've had most of the tests and all of the prodding and the medications. My gastrointestinal docs have nothing to offer by way of diagnosis or salve. I need to try something to relieve the pain, so I'm cooking up pot after pot of Chinese herbs.
Every four or five days, I get a new batch of herbs. The doc lays them out on big pieces of paper before putting them in brown lunch bags. I recognize ginseng, but nothing else. I ask him about this bark or berry or that black fungus. It's all very mysterious.
After a month of taking these herbs, I feel much worse than before I started. I'm told to persevere. As I pour water over these collections, I wonder if this is the elixir I need.