Jacob’s Ladder

“The only thing that burns in hell is the part of you that won’t let go of your life: your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away, but they’re not punishing you, they’re freeing your soul. If you’re frightened of dying and you’re holding on, you’ll see devils tearing your life away. If you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels freeing you from the earth.”

Jacob’s Ladder, Meister Eckhart. https://youtu.be/yt3Ny_BG3yQ

Dreams in the Night

The bright boy with problems got separated from his group. He’s alone in a dark tunnel in the frozen winter. I don my winter gear and proceed into the tunnel to attempt a rescue without scaring him off.

The girl is the daughter of the sister, not the mother. The sister warms to her daughter.

Young lovers laugh. The father returns to put an end to what he thinks is mockery, but is actually not about him at all. He drives a nail into the young man’s back though his shoulder armor.

I think of what a relief it would be to have a nail driven into my back.

Residency Sendoff

My program requested a few sentences for their alumni newsletter about my time with the program and memorable experiences. My brain being what it is, I can only think of snide quips. Here are some:

“Did you always want to help people? Ha ha! We own you now. Prepare to help people so much that you feel like a piece if shit all the time as you shovel the endless snow piled in front of you in a vain attempt to reconnect with your original motivation and purpose. Do you like feeling like a machine? Get used to it!”

Ok, more words there than I expected.

“Did you take a career in medicine in a Batman-like attempt to cancel out your own trauma and loss by helping and protecting others in your same situation? Well, I hope you like putting bandaids on gaping wounds and a full frontal experience of agony and misery from people who you’ll struggle not to identify with.”

“Remember TV shows like House, MD? Remember how you wanted to feel smart, essential, and rich? Guess what? Money means nothing to you. You feel stupid all the time, everywhere, at everything. People need you, but there’s lots of other doctors. You’re just a white coat and a name on their medical record.”

“Everything always hurts and gets more painful. It never changes. It’s excruciating agony. But you’ve put in too much time and it’s too much money to walk away from, and you have a wife and kids to support.”

“Your patients are sick, and you’re a robot dispensing cookbook medicine for them. You don’t get to think. You don’t get to enjoy anything. You get locked in a cage for ten hours a day.”

“These people who are meant to teach and supervise you will make you want to cry, make you want to die.”