Thursday, March 15, 2012

Medicine in a Storm

All things change, nothing perishes. ~ Ovid

There is something about rain, how it feels on my face, or sounds on the rooftops, and limits the view from inside the car or aircraft windshields. It is the water from the heavens. It is the nature cleanser. But there is a soul cleansing magic in it too. I sit and watch the harsh sunlit view landscape softened by the clouds and the rain, as it has morphed from the Mondrian stark blunt linearity into the soft colorful overtones of a Monet.

There is a literal genesis to this rain in the lift and growth of a sentiment. The violence and attraction of particulate thought and the shearing wretchedness of opposing views that devolve into crackles of lightening, all caught up to define the imbroglio. The build-up of these mental clouds, continue peaking at heights where sight cannot see and the mind cannot comprehend. And then just as the burdens of the weighty moisture laden clouds of thoughts, anger, opposing views and roiled sentiments, all collapse under their own weight, in the form of cleansing the dusty landscape below, creating a paradigm shift of colossal magnitude, the sun peaks again. The cloud dynamics of thought, concept, individuality and collectivism, all conspire to create an anvil capable of inflicting tremendous damage - and rebirth.

Medicine, I fear, is in the throes of this bubbling cauldron of cataclysm.

Imagine yourself in a theater and let that imagination soar…

The theater is alive inside, as the men in stilts outside are crowing about the magic that is to take place within as the actors take their respective place. The stage is set, the dialogue of discontent memorized and the emotive expressions of pain have been practiced. Soon the opposing views that have been rehearsed will be brought to bear before the unsuspecting audience and the clash will begin. The drum roll will announce, reaching a crescendo, the tempo will rise, the decibels increase and the dull thumping Major C will cry, multiple octaves ahead into a sharp, horrifying shriek of despair, damaging the eardrums of sanity. Yes the drama is about to unfold, as the audience sits on the edges of their seats to witness this transmutation of a paradigm. The past, the yesterdays all coalesce into a blur on the stage as the sound of the trumpets announce the First and only Act.

The diametrically opposing forces are armed to the teeth, while the audience sweats into a frenzy of ignorant inaction, shaking their nervous legs and twitching their itchy noses. What to do? What to do? Cries abound from the stage and whispers amongst the inimical audience turn into a slow rumble of murmurs of discontent. The pull and charm of the edifice that piped the crowd into the theater with the salve of entertainment and smiles of frolic seem false as the tempest from whence new beginnings arise clocks its hour. 

The actors will die off, killed by the poisoned swords of anger and deceit or by the apothecary of self-denial and unsheltered refuge of this rage, and slings and arrows of misfortune will rain down upon all with uncanny accuracy.

 The harsh deluge of this act will once again drown out the whimper and voices of rationalized fears and give way to a fresh start.

This chaos will end. 

The many arrows of hope amongst the countless ones of despair will find their mark and a new dawn will break. The arrows of hope will come from the audience of this theater. They will prescribe for a new set, a new stage and new league of actors.

 It is the hope I have. It is the thought that kindles my spirit. It is the song that resonates within my soul. It is all that is left for that vaunted new beginning. It may be all that is left of what we call medicine today. The tomorrows hold the key to what the new paradigm will be. Lets make sure it is a good one.

Can we then shape the future of medicine? You ask. Maybe. The future will deploy itself at the appointed hour of the appointed day, as the new cast of characters will fill in onto the stage. They will rehearse and memorize their lines once again. The play will begin at its destined beginning.

For, such is the calumny of the human endeavor, it shapes and is reshaped by the ideas and desires of the mind.

Ah the rain is upon us, I can feel the wetness on my skin. The hushed sound of rainfall on the trees is everywhere.  The blur blinds to wash anew the landscape of thought and action. A new vista is set to unfold. The theaters will remain the same, only the signs and the avenues will change. That within, is changing even though at a glacial pace. It is the requisite of thousands of years of a very slow process and it is in this upheaval of that change that the audience sets its eyes and ears upon. Ah, I can hear the thunder and as each flash of lightening loses distance in time to the reverberating sound.. 1000 and 1…1000 and 2…1000 and 3…

It might be the empowerment of the self, that little lonely, independent self that changes the face of medicine, or it might be a combination of educators, educating people about self-governance and the knowledgeable literati moving steadfast as the pioneers, into the field of understanding and ultimately undertaking rituals of personal responsibility and good health, forging the future for the new humanity. Whatever the refraction from the crystal ball, the bright colors will light the future.

Let your face feel the soft dampening drops of heavenly moisture. Let it sound off the rooftops and blur the view of the windshields, for a new dawn is upon us, ready for the forging to our intent.

We know what we are, but know not what we may be. ~ William Shakespeare

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