There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls... George Carlin
The sky turned an azure blue as twilight approached. I sat on the grassy knoll looking up at the sky and there in its shiniest silvery polish was the moon. It looked like a sand dollar sea shell broken in half. I stared at it and it stared back. There was a mystery to it. The more I gaped at it, the more images I saw.
Pretty soon, I was close enough to see a flurry of activity on its broken surface. There were swarms of tiny people going about their work with pick axes, chisels and shovels. There were supervisory individuals with headlamps shouting orders to the workers and directing them to the correct places. There were a few fat and bloated individuals that reminded me of “Jabba the Hut” lounging on elaborate silk covered Emperor Hadrian’s Roman era style chaise lounge smoking hookahs.
The workers busied themselves as they chipped away at the beautiful silvery moon. Piece by piece the size of the moon diminished as the axes and shovels continued with their fury.
The sky was now getting darker and the shine of the moon that bathed the earth dimmed. The darkness captured the ferocious work on the moon in stark detail. There were now louder voices as the half sea shell turned into a quarter of its size and then into an eighth. The darkness of the night became intense on earth and the birds quietly huddled in the trees, fearful of hazards their eyes could not define. Chaos reigned on night-earth now in concert with what was happening on the moon.
As the moon grew thinner, the heavy individuals panicked, for now they could see the mined lunar surface was all but gone. The helmet-lamp supervisors turned to look at the “Jabba the Hut” characters in anger as the little workers collaborated with them to overthrow these bounty hunters. The riots started. The helmet lamps and the little workers joined forces to stop working. They had finally realized that their efforts were destroying everything that they needed to survive. The “Jabba the Huts” could not move because of their exaggerated corpulence and were easily crushed. The Indiana Jones character was nowhere to be found. Apparently he had realized what was going on and disappeared.
There was a moment of reflection among those left standing. As the realization took anchor a small group of builders and creators came along from their quiet abode hidden at “Lands End.” The two groups called a meeting and the work to rebuild began. It was hard, but joyful. They saw the beauty in their art and their science. They saw the harmony in their collective effort. They saw progress in their effort. They worked tirelessly without compromise or complaint. The object was to rebuild the beautiful silvery shiny disk-city once again. They would create a city of fullness and majesty that would shine over the other beautiful pale blue dot that they could see from afar and give light at night to the other’s inhabitants. Slowly and surely the work began.
The cycle of life as the cycle of business are made of ferocious and damaging declines and a slow duty-inspired willed climbs. The destroyers take down quickly what the builders build in long arduous spells. The builders resist the destroyers but when most is lost, their will, brings them back to work for a new dawn.
These cycles exist in every form of life. Humans cannot control their destiny of building and destroying, for in that rebuilding they find some element of peace. They often make it better in comfort but not necessarily in living. Yet the destroyers are always looking to forage, to take and to undermine the hard work of the builders.
Much as in all human affairs, Medicine is in the throes of the destroyers. The science is being bastardized through data manipulation. Everywhere there are echoes of cost overruns and false comparisons to patient care. The real enemies of the cost over-runs, like “Jabba the Hut” are hiding behind in their Romanesque mansions pointing fingers as they accumulate wealth and get the desire for even more.
Ah but like that dream, I had, when all seems lost, the few, the brave and selfless spirits will once again rule reality for the sake of our humanity.
The new moon lurks and peeks from behind the golden under bellies of the spotty clouds as the sun sets in the distant horizon. Time marches on and the future once again seems bright.