Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Surgery day

My parathyroid cancer surgery is set for July 19.
It's a Thursday. And, according to the traditional Japanese calendar, it's a highly auspicious day luck-wise.

This calendar is based on the old Chinese lunar calendar. A feature of the old Japanese calendar that has been carried over to the modern one is something called rokuyo, which means six days, a six-day repeating cycle. Each day of the year is assigned one of six levels of auspiciousness ranging from worst (butsumetsu, or the day marking the Buddha's death) to best (taian, or great peace, a day for holding ceremonies and for visiting Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines and for having cancer surgery).
July 19 is a taian day.

My lucky day? Perhaps. Each day also is assigned to one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, and July 19 is a Day of the Tiger. I was born in a Year of the Tiger (Water Tiger, to be exact). That's got to be good. I'll take all the help I can get. Grrrrr.

It all sounds quaint and superstitious, but to this day big Japanese corporations won't schedule important meetings on butsumetsu days. Weddings are often avoided. Major decisions are postponed, if possible. These traditions run very strong, especially among older people. When I was living in Japan, the graduation ceremony at the junior high school where I taught was haphazardly scheduled one year. It fell on a butsumetsu day. The vice principal's nervous laughter upon discovering this faux pas belied some very serious, heartfelt misgivings. We were all very happy when the ceremony proceeded without the gymnasium roof caving in on us and without any other incident to mar the day.

I didn't pick my surgery day with taian in mind, but I certainly don't mind that it works out that way.
I just hope the kami ( gods) and I are on the same page.

16 comments:

Brotha Buck said...

I'll pray to my God, for the best for you.

Michael said...

My deepest thanks, Buck. Prayer is powerful, powerful medicine.

east village idiot said...

July 19th is an EXCELLENT day to have your surgery! I studied astrology for two years but had to quit because of time constraints. I'm all over the concept of taian day. I think I was born in the year of the tiger too. 1962...but maybe I'm just making that up.

I'm so glad that July 19th is your day. I'll be praying for you - big time...although not in Japanese!

Michael said...

Thanks, EVI! I just hope the surgery isn't rescheduled. That has happened several times in the past. I'm really sold on this day.

Anonymous said...

I hope the day dawns peacefully and progresses thus. I'm thinking of you.

FA

sorry for the anonymity; I'm still in NS.

Michael said...

Thank you, FA! I hope you're having a great time.

Gregor said...

Best wishes to you. I think that this could be a very auspicious sign!

My thoughts are with you.

gassho,

Gregor

Michael said...

Many thanks, Gregor!

Jean said...

I'm so glad about the auspicious signs. Can't think of a single damn other useful thing to say. I'm glad you found a Zen sangha, and hope you feel held by them, and with them in your own strength and peace.

Michael said...

Thanks so much, Jean! My only hope is that the surgery day isn't rescheduled. I wanna get this over with.

The sangha I belong to now is one I had belonged to a few years ago. I faded from the scene but am back now, though my laziness tends oftentimes to prevail...

ester said...

may all your strength be gathered to face another battle (it doesn't hurt to have it on an auspicious day neither);-)

with metta to you friend!

Michael said...

Thank you, Mall! I'm not feeling any particular trepidation at this point. I'm more worried about negotiating with the insurance companies to cover the surgery.

Kozy said...

I usually check these signs, when I decide an important thing.
My father and son were born in the year of tiger.
I think they are very lucky people.
I'm praying for you from Japan.

Michael said...

Thanks, Kozy-san. How was your trip to Canada? Welcome back!

Kozy said...

Michael-san

Actually, I've not gone to Canada yet. I've been very busy and had a cold:( I'm going there this Sunday. After I came back, I'm going to post something on my blog.

Michael said...

Oh, I sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Also, sorry for the premature vacation inquiry. I hope you feel much better by Sunday, and I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip when you get back!