I’ve been thinking about the term lumen of the gut, which I like a lot. “Lumen”, as you can probably see even if you don’t know any Latin, means “light”. At the Easter Vigil (the long traditional service in the Catholic end of the church that sees in Easter Day), they hold the Pascal Candle, lit from the Easter Fire, high into the air, singing three times “Lumen Christi!” (“the light of Christ”) and three times the congregation sings in response “Deo gratias!” (“Thanks be to God”). So lumen=light.
The lumen of the gut is the space that goes right through the middle of you – mouth to anus, alimentary canal – up to you to decide which end you think is the light at the end of the tunnel!
The gut is a magical and essential part of you. It has its own intelligence, and if you get what’s in your gut right, then pretty much all the rest of you will likely be right as well. No promises, but a healthy gut augurs well.
What interest me is this word “lumen” here. Light. Lightness..
While I am having my Gerson coffee, which involves lying down resting for about 15 mins doing nothing in particular just waiting for it to be later than it is, I while away the time praying for concerns at the forefront of my mind. At the present time I make sure to include two people especially – one who is testing her vocation to monastic life, and one who is struggling to care for a seriously sick husband, two ancient dogs and two fostered adults with disabilities.
Today, while praying for the second of those two people, trying to think of something different to say to God from what I said yesterday, I found myself asking Him, “Father, may this day hold in it laughter for her. Today, may she find things to laugh at. May she not be able to help laughing. May . . . no, that will do. If she can only be laughing, the rest will fall into place.”
And I realised that is true of me too. Whatever befalls, if I can find something funny about it, I can get through. Laughter. I need to lighten up. Lighten up. Light. Lightness. Travelling light. Living lightly - simplicity. Sitting light to things. Lumen. The lumen of the gut. Gut wisdom and intelligence. Belly laughter. Somewhere in this lot lies the secret of health. And I have heard of people diagnosed with serious illness who cured themselves just through watching funny films. They laughed their way back to health.
For a while when we lived in Aylesbury I had high on the kitchen wall on a demi-lune shelf I managed to fix up, in a shining moment of capability, a large wooden angel watching over our culinary efforts, that I dubbed The Lumen of the Gut. And what keeps our alimentary canal healthy, besides garlic and Gerson coffee, is laughter. And simplicity heightens the likelihood of laughter, because complications weigh you down.