The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. We avoid it or quell it by filtering it through our protective barriers of domestication and control. The normal way never leads home.
Pamela Wible On What’s Missing From Healthcare Reform
I was extremely disheartened, because I felt I was destined to be a doctor, but I couldn’t sustain my enthusiasm on the assembly line; it was such a dehumanizing experience. I was tired of interrupting crying people to say, “Sorry, we’re out of time.” I wanted to be kind to patients, even if it meant a huge cut in my salary. Many doctors feel this way. I’ve met several female physicians who are ready to quit medicine and find other work.
The color of the hospital curtain dividing the room changes with the light. If our neighbor by the window keeps the blinds open, the cloth that divides the room is a sea green riddled with purple. If the neighbor likes it dim, the curtain becomes the mottled color of a bruise just before it heals. When we have no neighbor, we push the curtain back so we can see the view of the black-papered roof.
It’s one in the afternoon, and I wake up in a brick apartment building in Niagara Falls, New York, birds cheeping into the straw and broken springs of my hangover. Claire, the pint-sized, frizzy-haired woman with the short leg who will run away with a truck driver in two weeks, is lying next to me, snoring softly.
The Parisians are smoking hash again and playing guitar on the terrace. I decide it’s a good time to walk to the top of the hill, where a white temple perches among the pines. I’m feeling a bit lonely today, a bit lost on this subcontinent. I can’t even remember why I’ve come to India, but I know it wasn’t to eat hummus and pita and get high.
In retrospect I can see the appeal. The world according to Blick was a grimly serious place, as orderly and attractive as one of Pebbles’ mobiles; he dangled his international system of coat hangers and dental floss, and my sister gaped up at it like a dazzled kitten, batting at it from time to time with her little paw.