“Everybody’s got the fever
That is somethin’ you all know
Fever isn’t such a new thing
Fever started long time ago” – Peggy Lee
On both my trips to Rajasthan I caught a fever. The first time it lingered awhile but didn’t cause me too much discomfort. This time the fever came while traveling in small villages in the countryside and everyone seemed to agree that it was caused by the change in the weather. They called it “bone fever”- a fever that settles deep on the inside, not one that gives chills and high temperature. There were a lot of different remedies- some I took, others I sidestepped. The fever would come in waves that overheated my body and felt like it was burning away layers and layers of me from the core. I’m generally not a great patient and so it was both comforting and challenging that my return to Jodhpur was in a small hostel in the old city where there was neither a restaurant or room service. So lots of water and hopes for it to pass. On good days there were visits with friends- good food and home remedies. On days when overcome with the fire inside and the melting layers, bed claimed me comforted by a view of the blue city and the fort from my window.
The fever lasted about 8 days and left a lingering cough that stretched my patience and helped me consider what had burned/melted away. Fever, Peggy Lee’s song, was on a loop my head contrasted with the swirling drama and politics of the world- the Impeachment hearings, the elections in Maharashtra, children in detention centers, Kashmir, the lack of safety for women in India….on and on.
What if Peggy Lee was onto something? Love is a fever and everybody has it deep in the core? And what if, like malaria, it is recurring to burn away layers of rage, judgement, assumptions, hatred and separation? What if “the change in the weather” that everyone mentioned wasn’t about temperature but about the weather of our soul? And what if “bone fever” was a fever that changed us at our marrow?
That kind of thinking can get very abstract and metaphorical OR it can be swallowed , followed by a shift in perspective. The new perspective seems to have sneaked into my responses surprising me each time. There’s a new interior view that seems to be filling up more and more space. The burning away may have begun with the first fever and this one cleared things so that the new perspective could appear.
I believe now that Peggy Lee got it right. “Everybody’s got the fever”……