Thursday, January 5, 2012


"My" Forest, run, Jan 5, 2012

My eldest is writing a paper on Martin Luther King, Jr. and it got us discussing the meaning of the word revolution. It is a meaty word for a gritty world. It is pretty too. It makes me think of the constant turning and returning of life. Or of bicycle tires. Or of the legs of a runner with decent form, which should turn like a bicycle exactly under and somewhat behind their bodies.

I am considering a revolution in my life, but I haven't yet decided which meaning of the word that will involve. Some moments I consider a radical take-it-to-the-streets kind of revolution, where I shout for all to hear about the absurdities of medical care in this country (expensive, often low quality, and a work force of health care workers stretched much too thin). Or I consider just quitting and trying something new. Or I consider coming home from my night shift and going for a run. Which is what I did today.

A trusted colleague and friend reminded me recently of the turning of the mind and the power of meditation. I have studied this a bit, and read the science behind it. Its very simplicity is revolutionary. But like anything simple but beautiful and powerful (Scarlatti comes to mind), it takes a lot of practice. You cannot hide from your own mind. With Scarlatti, there are no big chords to hide your musical gaffs or missteps. It is all right there, on the surface. Horowitz can describe this better than I.

Lately I have felt completely beaten down under the weight of illness, poverty and despair I have been encountering at work. Things I have seen that honestly would be considered too unlikely for fiction keep me awake at night. I believe we are due for a revolution of kindness in our society. The broken people are not the strongest lobbyists in Washington, and their doctors are kept busy enough with the constant state of emergency that they don't seem to be lobbying all that powerfully either. 

The sun still shines nicely through the trees in my forest though.  The endorphins still fuel the runners. The high school students keep writing papers. The world keeps turning.

1 comment:

  1. Love your thoughts. You and I ought to talk sometime. Fellow female fysicians...