Here is life, reposted


Here is life – KJC, 2009

Life is not on hold,
   put aside until you get home,
Living happens here.
Here you will see a fullness of being human
   that you may not notice when you are well
      and busy in the everyday.

But here in this place you will see…
– beauty in the face of a woman who has seen ninety-three summers
– courage in the determination of a man who must learn to walk again
– kindness from a lifelong partner and from a complete stranger

While you are here experience the
   deepness of being human
      really human
         and take home joy from that discovery.

It took me awhile to locate the original post. That was my first year of clinical school. In scrolling through archives and fishing for the original post… I see that I had a lot of words (or time) to write. And I was less obscure in my writing. But some things stay the same.

As a student I obviously liked clinic because I could sit down and talk alone with patients. “Sit down” is the important part (preferably with a cup of hot milk tea) because sitting is better than standing and starving on a ward round, or in theatre. I’m pleased to say I’ve stayed true to these priorities in my career choices.

Everything about patients and hospitals was foreign and fresh. Now the ward, the staff, the beds, the equipment, the beeps, the hand-wash – all these are familiar, comforting even. What I feared I still fear, though I’ve seen it up close, both personally and professionally – that is, disability and uncertainty, palliation and dying. Yet knowledge and familiarity doesn’t make life and death any more comprehensible.

“No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it.” – Ecclesiastes 8:17

Here is life, I make a mental note before stepping in. Here is life so stay awhile and take it in. Don’t mute it with “real” life.

“It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.” – Ecclesiastes 7:2-3



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