A day of rest

A day of rest.  Heavy humidity settles across everything under this overcast sky.  It reminds me of kayak trips, camping next to the big calm water of Georgian Bay, waking up early with percolated coffee.  It reminds me of rainy mornings in BC, feeling the water penetrate everything in a dense mist.  It is like comfort, like the universe is providing a blanket of rest.  A stepping back from all the to-dos and lists and obligations and plans.  A forced slowing down and appreciating the sensation through the burden and lightness of damp weather.

Ripples of water across the pool in the breeze, cup of coffee in my lap, Ontario strawberries and blueberries in sheep yogurt, on the porch at my parents house.  It’s like I want to release a thousand tons of weight onto these soft couch cushions where I rest.  Like I could just dump it all out.

I have reflected on these hectic evenings, working in the emergency department until late, coming home and shedding off the stories of patients.  Sometimes standing in the middle of our new apartment in my scrubs, while we discuss some mundane decorating dilemma, in the back of my mind those stories just sit.  They are waiting there, for some kind of retribution or at least full appreciation.  It is usually the eyes of patients that stay with me – even in the moment of seeing them, it is their eyes that remind me of the depth of their souls and the extent of their stories when I am only seeing a slice of their reality.

There are single sentences and pictures that form in my mind, as tools to remember the glimpses of lives that I receive.  The frail elderly man who lives in the park who couldn’t stop telling me his jokes, his body shaking up and down as he laughed.  The aggressor on cocaine and ecstacy who just wanted someone to set him free. The prim independent elderly lady, bright light blue eyes, whose mouth and mind moved so deliberately telling me a perfectly recounted history.  The guys from the sailboat who just wanted to find a great beer after I sutured up one of their hands.

A big lemon balm plant enjoys peaks at the sun while I think about how to replant it into an indoor pot. Rubbing together a few of its leaves to smell it, familiar sweet. There are so many things I want to do while I also want to be an excellent doctor.  All of these desires are conflicting – for every moment I spend making myself whole, I am not learning medicine, not reading, thinking medicine.  I want to learn how to can and preserve vegetables and herbs.  I want to write more – Mat tells me that now is the time I should write.  I want to draw my trees and be inspired by big trees in my new city.  I want to go kayaking (and we will go soon!).   I want to grow things.  I want to do yoga. I want to explore the city. And I do all these things and we do these things… already.  But inside me there is always the urge to devote more time to this, less to that.  An organizing and reorganizing time, never able to really reconceptualize time itself.  Meg said to me there is the sensation of waiting for something.  This is a commonly felt experience – waiting for life to begin.  When this happens then I can do that…  when I finally am this, then I can be that…   I wish I could shed those types of stories from my mind, dump them out onto this couch and never look back.


~ by kcanderson on July 25, 2010.

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