Attempting to Serve as a Healing Hand of God (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 183)

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From an involved surgery from last week.

Balancing life in your hands, knowing exactly how delicate, remarkable, and interdependent, such a force happens to be, is grace, a blessing, and also a curse to those with a comprehensive awareness of the responsibility of their involvement and intervention when attempting to serve as a healing hand of God.

Are you good enough? Are you deceiving yourself in your own perceptions and/or your own capability? Are you being too meticulous and tedious or perhaps, not enough? Can the fear of failure or mistake be kept at respectful bay? And in the end, no matter the reality and the truth, will you be judged an unquestionable hero or incompetent charlatan by those in the periphery of the act? Is it enough or too much to be the only one who might know the truth either way?

It is a supreme honor to be sincerely entrusted with such responsibility and faith. It touches my soul and lifts me up more than you know. I hate to fail a patient, a client. . .and even myself, but nothing is ever guaranteed, no matter the intent and no matter the skill. This is the burden that weighs upon the true healers and that you might not ever see. These are the thoughts that linger and dwell throughout their daily lives, in between their every breath. These are the demons they (we) must fight alone, for themselves (ourselves) as much as for what we may do for you and yours.

This surgery actually went as well as it possibly could have and the patient is recovering in good fashion, but he will be on my mind day and night, 24/7, for the next 11 days, that is until he has passed out of the real post-op risk period. I’m hoping for my hospital, my staff, and myself, that once again we will all be heroes. . .for Sampson and his mommy.

Wish us all luck if you will.

Dr. Cribb

The Inheritance of All Healers (Warrior Poet Mental Yoga 156)

“One time,” said Castle, “when I was about fifteen, there was a mutiny near here on a Greek ship bound from Hong Kong to Havana with a load of wicker furniture. the mutineers got control of the ship, didn’t know how to run her, and smashed her up on the rocks near “Papa”Monzano’s castle. Everybody drowned but the rats. The rats and the wicker furniture came ashore.”

That seemed the end of the story, but I couldn’t be sure. “So?”

“So some people got free furniture, and some people got bubonic plague. At Father’s hospital, we had fourteen hundred deaths inside of ten days. Have you ever seen anyone die of bubonic plague?”

“That unhappiness has not bee mine.”

“The lymph glands in the groin and the armpits swell to the size of grapefruit.”

“I can well believe it.”

“After death, the body turns black—coals to Newcastle in the case of San Lorenzo. When the plague was having everything its own way, the House of Hope and Mercy in the Jungle looked like Auschwitz or Buchenwald. We had stacks of dead so deep and wide that a bulldozer actually stalled trying to shove them toward a common grave. Father worked without sleep for days, worked not only without sleep but without saving many lives, either.”

“Well, finish your story anyway.”

“Where was I?”

“The bubonic plague. The bulldozer was stalled by corpses.”

“Oh, yes. Anyway, one sleepless night I stayed up with Father while he worked. It was all we could do to find a live patient to treat. In bed after bed after bed we found dead people.

And Father started giggling,” Castle continued.

“He couldn’t stop. He walked out into the night with his flashlight. He was still giggling. He was making the flashlight beam dance over all the dead people stacked outside. He put his hand on my head, and do you know what that marvelous man said to me?” asked Castle.

“Nope.”

“‘Son,’ my father said to me, ‘someday this will all be yours.'”

Cat’s Cradle

Kurt Vonnegut          1963