Sunday, January 04, 2009

Getting back at it.

If you'll look closely to the date on the post directly below this one (and do me the favor of not reading said post), you'll note that it was written within a few days of 3 years ago. It wasn't the last post I'd written, though, I had managed to post at some point near the end of 2006. A curious thing happened to cause me to be interested in posting again. A friend, Matthew, WhenElephantsMuse, sent my wife and and I a rather nice christmas letter through which I discovered he had a blog. Cheers, Matt, and thanks for the beautiful pic of the kids! You're a wonderful photographer.

Bottom line is, I'm suddenly struck with the beauty of writing all over again. I haven't written in a long while. Back in the day, when I was young and rather more thoughtful (read: more filled with thought ;-) and philosophical, my musings tended to be rather unwieldy texts.

I'm a bit smarter now, by one semester of college (including an English Comp class, fortunately) and a few years of real life which included getting married and now I'm on the verge of becoming a father. That real life has also included the death of a friend, which lead to a strange, wonderful calling from the Lord to follow Him through College and Medical School.

Hopefully, now, when I write, it will be worth your while, and not so heady, high-societal, or ponderous. That's not to say that it won't be arcane occasionally.


"Bloeks dih net?" My friend asks curiously whether or not it bothers me to see a surgeon's knife slice through human skin. We're standing side by side atop the printing press he runs for a living; I'm dressed in khaki pants and a dress shirt that sharply contrasts with his ink-stained clothes.

"No, it isn't a big deal really," I reply, patiently bearing this question yet again. A dozen uninitiated people ask me this every week, it seems, and after a dozen operations I'm too calloused for my own good. I don't interface well with the uninitiated, just ask anyone. Wonderful, well-meaning people who are genuinely interested in my life all seem to ask the same questions and crack the same stupid jokes.

"Let Nic cut that pie, he needs practice with knives, right?"

"I'm a freshman in college, for crying out loud", I think as I pass a practiced smile in the direction of the jokester. "Don't take me to the bank just yet, man."

"Hey Nic, I better be nice to you cuz I don't wanna end up on your OR table with you having a grudge against me!"

"How many people do you know that operate on their relatives?" I fume.

But folks really do want to see me succeed. Dissidents hardly exist, which is fortunate. Surprising, even.

I was once in the presence of a really accomplished surgeon when someone wisecracked to the whole group "I was kind of frightened when I saw the surgeon walking around with a big, sharp kitchen knife, but finally he set it down so I was OK."

I asked the Dr. afterward "What do you do with that kind of thing? Don't you just get tired of it?"

His reply was a classic understatement. "The way I see it, a person is just trying to show his interest in you, that's all. Yeah, it gets old, but finally you realize, Hey this guy really likes me and wants to tell me so."

You know, I've really had to change my attitude after starting to associate with physicians. What seemed like major annoyances for me start to fade dramatically when a I see the disturbances that plague all physicians.

“Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaint.” - William Osler, MD

That quote single-handedly changed my life. In hindsight, I realize that I often didn't react well to my circumstances in photography at Carlisle Printing. "Stupid Amish furniture makers with no idea what art was" constantly "plagued" my life, I thought. Now I realize the truth. I could have been more convincing and successful had I dealt with them like a good physician. "Here's a client with an excellent product who needs to sell that product. What's the best way to do that?"

Anyway, enough retrospect. Enough writing, for now. Happy New year all.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ahh...I see it now. Henceforth I shall with diligence avoid being the source of such vexations, and will plead to obtain mercy (remember the other day?) because I did it in ignorance.