Relaxing in the jungle in Manu, Peru. Photo by Lynne Nardizzi

I was sick, and now I’m healed.

Two years ago I came to Manu, in the Amazon jungle of Peru. I had rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease, and came to heal with the medicinal plants of the jungle.

RA causes inflammation of the tissue and joints, resulting in pain and fatigue. RA gets worse over time, and eventually causes bone erosion and joint deformity.

My doctor told me if I didn’t start medication right away, I could be in a wheelchair soon.

Western medicine sees RA, and all autoimmune diseases, as incurable.

Prior to coming to Peru, my life…

A poem

Photo by Bruce Christianson on Unsplash

is going to
spontaneously combust
with all the conflicting
and contradicting
predictions and prophecies
theories and psychics

over and again
that no one
really knows

showing us
again and again
how much
we want to control

how hard
it is to let go
stop attaching
fall into the abyss

but once we let go
just a little
and freefall
and realize
there is nothing
to hang onto
nowhere to go

we surrender
into the unknown
and in the unknown
is the nothingness
and we see
that in the nothing
is everything
and that everything
is also nothing


a poem

photo by the author

my neighbor’s cat
wants to
kill me
I’m sure

every day
she sneaks up
every day
she stares

watching me
plotting and planning
thinking of ways
to dispose of me

I think
she thinks
my garden
is hers

I think
she thinks
many things
about me
none good

every day
she sits
in my garden
while I work
while I eat

sometimes she’ll sit
at my screen door
looking in
and scaring the life out of me
when I walk by

last night
in my bedroom
getting ready for bed
I looked out the window
there she was
staring back…

a poem

photo by the author

walking the path
close to my house
music in my ears
in another world
moving along
til I almost stepped on
this snake

I stopped short
and caught my breath
paused to see
he’s not dangerous
just sunning himself
on the hot cement
after the rainfall

in his presence
in his rest

the snake
of self-renewal
shedding its skin
to another life

the snake
wraps around
the cosmic egg
hatching creation

the snake
of the caduceus
for the healing
of Apollo

is the serpent
good or evil?
maybe both
its venom can kill
or can heal

as I…

Lynne Nardizzi

writing, traveling, living my life after healing from an incurable disease with medicinal plants of the Amazon jungle// psychotherapist at

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