Why Not To Be A Doctor Or Spock –  A Prose Poem

When as a 36 year old doctor I had severe chronic back pain, Dr John Sarno took me on a journey of recalling all my childhood’s pain. The rain of old memory, cured my back pain by allowing my life’ new memory to peacefully reign. You’ll understand sooner or later, perhaps in this story.

baby-1178539_1920Remembering birth was tough, but time before it was easy. Life in the 1700’s was magnificent but that came from past life regression and this story is not about that journey, but the one after my current birth, not before. I never did manage to remember this more recent birth, perhaps because I really don’t care to or maybe can’t. I do recall however being about age one. It’s not that interesting other than for its wordless description. So I will save you a long recital by telling you it was about cycles. I recall the cycles of the sun behind my crib as day came and went through the window behind where I slept (I slept through most of it). The next interesting thing, perhaps from your viewpoint, was the periodic visitation of floating faces that made cooing noises. I knew they were “nice” as I could feel their happy thoughts. When I could stay awake, seeing them was entertaining.  By the next year, I now knew they were “people” and that with gifts of food or lack of care their visits seemed to bring joy or fear.

When I was about three sitting on the basement floor, I watched my sister assemble a puzzle and for the first time really knew disappointment. I insisted on trying but when I could not do it my mother laughed; it was the first time I ever felt abashed. I did not understand that my sister being nearly twice my age had an advantage. How I “viewed”my mother’s laugh shaped who I am forever – competitive, but mostly with myself. Mom was very creative and to this I was native. There was little TV, just building creative toys and dreams for me.

In kindergarten, the teacher told us to put on reindeer hats and parade in a circle to music and entertain our parents. I refused her, asking why I should do this?  She just got mad thinking that I dared need a reason! From then on I looked at her with derision for her very poor emotional decision. This event that day made me a father to Spock,  emotion free as a rock; though I suspect he was conceived in my mother’s laugh.  We were one and the same with just my name. 

In high school and college, sex I had to acknowledge; but joy for me was being so high on the curve that everyone else would fail. Calculus, Chemistry, Biology all the sciences, her laugh long ago determined how far I would go to leave them all in the dust. 

doctor-2337835_1920Fifty years later having joyfully invented a branch of Holistic Medicine, my patient’s pain had become dark rain. A body cooked long round the spit of the sun finally begins to fail, it ceases to run. My patients grew, old my joy grew cold, for even years after I could still hear her laughter.  It was time to leave!  After 45 years I’d earned that reprieve.

Here in Florida I met a lady who’d been my best friend 40 years ago when I had been painfully divorced.  Her eyes were failing and her surgeons flailing. I volunteered my services for a guided tour that the doctor, not Spock, should have known to abhor. Surgeons well selected, care well directed. But, years of life predicted age could not be interdicted.  Now I remember the reason to retire, watching life end inspires no great desire.

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But being a friend before life’s end is a gift of value that laughter can’t devalue.  As I sit here this morning enjoying the sun, I’m glad that from other’s pain, I chose not to run.  I cannot stop the end of life but with love and caring there is great opportunity for preparing.  

For much of my life I’m again married to a wife, who had been to many daring to be selflessly caring. Now I’m inspired, to be so desired, life’s too short to stay retired. Care given to a friend does spiritually help them mend. Her laughter faded in the ever after. 

 

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Feelings, Friends, Fancy And Love

deathofafriend I wonder if as you reach your late 60’s you start to think more about “feelings” and less from your head?  My second optician, who was a friend for 35 years, and 10 years younger than me, just died of cancer tonight.  I knew it was coming but it is still surrealistic. I am pondering lots more, as I become more conscious of my age and the loss of friends, if I made good decisions? I did in being his friend and am thankful he was mine.
     We all make decisions where our head overrules our heart and I wonder if that is the best we can do?  I have always believed it but began to doubt it 20 or 30 years later. Not that I know that the alternative was better. I just wondered,  what if?
I am experimenting with communicating, in writing, more from my heart and less from my head.  It has made me think a lot more about the touching emails, I have received over the years from friends,  both men and women.  I wrote an essay on feelings,  as experienced by a long married man, seeing his wife leaving for a 5 day trip to Fla  to do some work at their vacation home. It was an attempt at more feelings and less intellectualism but it ended up being both.  I thought it was an honest projection of what it might be like and what the implications are.  I have been divorced once and married now twice so I have learned something, I hope.
A week after writing the essay,  I was thinking about an email from an old college girl friend (45 years ago) who said dating in the 60'sshe was trying to share more of her feelings with old friends but not ready to do so yet.  Then thinking about her email comment,  I looked at the one picture I have of her, at that age, and tried to recall if she looked like that.  On my computer,  I tried to enhance it to look more like what my memory struggled to recall.  It took about 20 minutes and then I went to sleep, unsatisfied with my foggy memory and the still somewhat unfamiliar photo.
I had a lot of interesting dreams that night. I saw, symbolically,  the relationship I had with this pretty red haired lady, and an  “old girl friend” that I had dated a bit before meeting my wife.  There was a third one too but, I cannot recall who the third one was as it was a dream state. As a result of these symbolic images, I now better understand my feelings for all of them, in the past and now in the present.
Despite what some people claim,  I find that it is hard to believe that, years later,  you don’t still love the people you have truly loved.  I suspect that deep in my heart I still love them as much as I did then.  What is interesting is that I can be truly be happy for them being with the partners they chose,  which I could not have felt for them years ago.  It is now like being their brother rather than a lover.  Would you not be happy for your sister if she married someone perfect for her? Well, that is my experience or so I think it is.
There is also the lady I left a year before I met my wife.  It is fascinating to me that I made the right intellectual decision leaving her.  But like my college girl friend, she was my best friend in a time when I needed a special friend.  I talked to her by phone a few times months ago and I tried to learn why she looks at life so differently than I do. That was of course why I left her. I mention her in my previous essay above as she was the lady who was in real estate. She did not believe in marriage commitments and I did and still do.
I think I have always been a bit of a “boring” intellectual, who finds work, books, and time alone to learn, great fun while people were more of a  challenge, as few shared my  interests. I have gotten better however from a diversion in life spent selling products almost door to door, for 5 years. I learned to “be” more relatable and even enjoy almost anyone I meet, at least for short time spans.
  memoriesIt is an interesting time in my life, a time to try to understand “relationships.”  I am sure I will not ever understand relationships but I will understand more about them. I have never valued money greatly. I did not know until recently what I really valued.  You cannot take money with you,  but I believe you can take memories you are proud of and happy with.  I will joyously celebrate that wealth which I have acquired.
    Janr