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Perfectly Broken

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The Japanese have a method of repair which is termed kintsugi or wabi sabi.  The metaphor of this philosophy is quite beautiful. When an object is broken, say a plate or bowl, it is subsequently fixed with gold. The original object is made stronger. The imperfections are not hidden, they are highlighted and they are what make that object unique.

Such is resilience and such is life. Lately, I've been a bit harsh on myself with comparing to how things were or how I wish they could be. However, resilience means not giving up and pushing on despite setbacks and so-called imperfections. I am made more valuable by being broken, over and over again.


A Dance in The Theatre

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The room is illuminated by two surgical lights emanating a cool blue tinge to the patient on the table. Ribs retracted, the slow, steady hum of the bypass machine in the background accentuated by the steady heart rate beeps. "Pressure?!" bellows the primary surgeon before the cardioplegic solution is pumped into coronary circulation causing arrest.

The procedure starts, four sets of eyes follow as a cut is made into the fleshy red tissue. The device is placed into the designated valve and slowly the incision is sutured. A small pucker remains on the ivy leaf shaped left auricle. As the heart starts returning from arrest it squirms and quivers, like a bag of worms. Fibrillation.

"Paddles!! Charge to 150!" bellows the surgeon as all hands leave the table. Thud. "Charge to 200!" Thud. All eyes are on the fleshy organ that has now developed mild bruising. Will it beat with all this damage? Resilience triumphs today as it cardioconverts back into rhythm and re…

A Veterinary Thanks- A Meditation

Last month involved a variety of sheep studies with a sprinkling of small animal cases. I began to question the validity of the research world due to the subjectivity of the studies, however, it is likely true of many ongoing projects. Being involved in it firsthand is a lot wearier and can lead to strange dreams.

On the brighter side it is quiet here and with this added space the realization has hit that I have not experienced being totally alone for quite some time. During the first year of veterinary school I was able to rent an apartment to myself but since second year it has been a whirlwind of living or being with people almost 24/7. So now that I am alone again, it is lonely and I don't quite know how to cope.

The simple, meditative life was once I something sought. But now life is so much fun filled with distraction, activity, and adventure. To not have that control is a blessing. Before to have that quiet ripped away from me would have sent me spiraling down into stress a…

Love

I am seeking a love. But a special kind of love. It must be fluid, it cannot cling. It must be faithful and rest in respect of the other. It must understand the partner's secrets and fears for once they are released into possession they will be cherished more intimately than if they were your own. Love gives freely and no count is held. A smile or a touch from the other should be motivation enough to guide your actions. Love should preserve space for individuality and should not control.

"Where there is love, nothing is too much trouble, and there is always time"
One of my absolute favorite quotes.

Re-Think

Do you know who you are?
Do you know what has happened to you?
Do you want to live this way?

"All it takes is one person, one patient, one moment to change your life forever.
It can change your perspective, color of your thinking.
One moment that forces you to rethink everything you know."

As the end of this month approaches, I am forced to re-evaluate my perspective. It was a month of harrowing surgeries that made me think differently about medicine and patient care. Everything from a huge thymoma on a sweet tail-wagging Labrador (pre- and post- op) to a hemangiosarcoma that had no saving.
It was both beautiful and weary. Now I am off to a "safer" side of medicine, one where there are fewer feelings involved and one where I can comfortably run off to recuperate in.
This month also beat me up in other ways. I am still waiting for a response to the residency but I am not quite so sure anymore. I honestly thought I was the best fit for the position and the stronges…

Onwards

The end of this year is fast approaching and it has been a year of adventure, growth, and change. I hope that the next year will continue as such. I am looking forward to all that it continues to bring. Cautious optimism.

While it is good to look forward to things, there is always the joy of the journey.  While in Australia I got extremely homesick and started yearning coming back to California. This depleted the pleasure of the moment and thankfully I was able to realize that. All it took was a conscious change in attitude, a reframing of the mind, so to speak. This can be done in any circumstance where there is suffering. Realize that you are suffering. Source out a why behind the suffering. There may often not even be a why behind the suffering, but the validation alone is often enough. Then change your perspective.

If you cannot change the circumstance, you can change how you think about it.

Dangerous Love

This past weekend has been spent surrounded by very inspiring individuals. Makers, do-ers, discoverers, searchers. And yet all so humble. I suppose that is what drives the medical profession, or scientists in general. We are usually never satisfied.

Right now I am frustrated at myself with my lack of motivation and inspiration. With my lack of purpose. It feels pointless and frustrating to live like this. A life with purpose is everything. Find purpose and you have everything. Purpose can always change. But to live without it is meaningless. It is a waste.

I know that I will find purpose again, however, right now I am in limbo. I know that I should be studying for the NAVLE, which I am. But that is purpose in itself. There is no passion behind it. Purpose should be self-driven. You cannot help but think about it. You cannot help but obsess about it. I want to find that something again. My dangerous love, where are you??