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October 21, 2007


Hi, Leila!

This is Rachel Swirsky, who was at Mills with you in Sarah Pollock's class.

I'm active in blogging again, and I'm writing for a feminist blog. A couple of us are Jewish-descended and want to stimulate left-wing Jewish conversation... I was chatting with another poster today and realized, why Leila! She might be interested in these posts.

Here's the most recent:


and here's an older one:


I post on the blog as Mandolin. (There is a Rachel S., but she's not me -- she's a sociology professor.) I hope perhaps you enjoy those posts and some more of what the blog has to offer.

By the by, would love to hear from you if you'd like to drop me a line and chat about writing. I am in Iowa, at the IWW, as I think I may have told you before.

All best,

I've found Harbin wonderfully healing and centering. Spent 3 days there over this past New Years. We ended up staying in the domes, which was great since it encouraged a lot of walking.

Typical day: breakfast, yoga, hot springs, massage, a little sun and breeze on evey inch of skin out on the deck, meditate, lunch, read, hike, hot springs, nap, yoga, reflexology, dinner, hot springs, read, sauna, bed. Aaaaaah.

Beautiful environment. So quiet. People are kind and completely respectful of boundaries. And the food is delish. On December 31, they offered a Burning Bowl ceremony late afternoon, then welcomed the New Year with live music from Ali Khan and hours of dance. Very festive.

I'm with you - I'd go much more often if I were closer. But give the HOT hot springs a chance next time. The temperature's a bit daunting at first, but once you breathe past it, it's absolutely worth it.

Hey Nona, thanks for commenting. You must not be a regular. Welcome!

I have a pretty serious health issue that prevents me from doing things that might shock my system. I did not check with my doctor before going to the springs, but I decided to practice extreme caution in the hot pool. Thanks for your encouragement though.

Hi Leila,
I followed you here from Echidne's site. An interesting blog you have here, and an important one. I shall return.

Leila -

Been sending you good energy since you posted about your recurrence. Forgive me if my post seemed insensitive. I and far too many of my friends have been dancing an apache with bc for years (grew up in a cancer cluster) and I’m going in for a follow up on Wednesday.

Holistic approaches use heat therapy quite a bit and even maintain that things like hot pool/cold plunge strengthen the immune system. It’s always felt right to me and I didn’t realize there might be circumstances where it could be contraindicated.

Decisions about treatment and defense are as varied as the particulars of each diagnosis. We sustain one other in this by respecting and supporting each other’s choices. Absolutely trust your own instincts above all!

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