Life After Dunwoody

I had thought I was moving to the lake but as years progressed it became clear that the culture of the mountains captures and  often frustrates. Lakesides are change and movement, and lately brewed beer and laughter, daring and leaving. Mountains are Biblical in the pace of their creeping but relentless thrusts. The fossil of an ancient fern in a flagstone of my fireplace, held by the mountains millions of millennia, reminds me of the permanence of life once lived.

The above banner chosen for this weblog, though it is borrowed from a commercial theme, could be an image of the driveway to one of my first and still best friends since the removal from the toney metro Atlanta burb Dunwoody. This video recorded one afternoon at that destination evoked is representative of how life after Dunwoody began.

The archive menu on the right links a past diary, Morning Worship.Reading through some of the posts I am reminded of an experience I had one of the past times I went back into Atlanta. As I came to a changed but well known intersection I thought to myself; “the last time I was here I was in love. I am changed.”

Ten years ago I added the Morning Worship weblog  of the link to my creations for the Internet Having just finally finished the 10 year book project, I had a lot of writing in me. Also the politics was beginning to become scary and I wanted to consciously focus on that which is positive. With some editing the Morning Worship archive is the anchor of this continuing diary.

In 2009 I wrote “Though it has only been a couple of years since doing the weblog (and 20 years since being in love)

I am today aware if how different I feel. The metrics of the endless visits to the medical people and places have remained the same. I feel a little less vigor and I hurt a little more. My views as to how the world works or I would like it to be are the same. But something is gone. I am changed.

I fear acknowledging it; but I think optimism is fading, my lifetime belief in the inevitability of  reasoning man at the brink always coming through, .

Reading through the 2009-2010 posts as I migrate them into this Word Press I do feel uplifted. The diary entries are mostly on site as posts but without graphics and plugins. I will be gradually restoring them to original quality as technology allows but it will be a slow process.

I plan to be adding, perhaps less frequently, new material that I find uplifting and promising. For opinion and the political  I am restoring my weblog Firefliesandbonfires which is my primary opinion and political depository. My other sites speak more of the personal me.


Summer Days

This summer’s transient heat waves and droughts bring now dread of the future as the global temperature continues its relentless rise, fed on the feast of Methane and CO2 the bankers continue to serve up.

For me it also brings memories of childhood summer days and nights.  A child of the Drought and Dust of Oklahoma  I know of  afternoon heat so great one is sapped of strength and will, even the children brought to inside shade and lemonde, Harry Carey in the background describing the play of Stan Musial and the Cardinals and his little boy Skippy.

Play and exploration of  nature and the land had to be done in the relative cool of the morning  English Sparrows taking dust baths and a horned toad scurrying raising her own cloud to our shouts of “Hurry home Momma.”  The songs of the birds always seemed to represent promise of a cooler day and perhaps even rain.   I find such a reference of my Gramma’s letter in 1935. “I heard a mockingbird singing his heart out this morning. Maybe this old drought is about to break.”

Share my memory and Listen to the Mockingbird.


My 88 year love affair

Brother David’s birthday was this past Friday and it is now 88 years for me in a couple of weeks. These and the anniversary of my graduation from medical school June 6, 1957 inspired me to revisit an old entry. Little has changed other than the nerves in the eyes are beginning to go. I am grateful beyond words for the gift of the additional 10 years of good vision surgery gave me.

My 77 year love affair.

At the age of 4 on viewing with awe and great curiosity my just born brother I was told the doctor had brought him. Later in the day, riding my tricycle and reflecting, I proclaimed I wanted to be doctor.

What greater more awesome inspiration is there than the notion of bringing life ?

Seventy-seven years later and humbled by the discovery that no human wills the creation of life nor owns life, I am still in love with doctoring. Recent experiences, one public and two personal have brought forward the force of that love.

I felt useful once again in weeks of standing by a friend losing a daughter empathizing with what the medical people were doing and attempting to aid my friend to understand and permit the help that was there to support them. I recall what an honor it is to be permitted to be with people in their times of most intense and private of experiences; to hope that my presence is useful.

Then just the other night there was on TV the image of a neonatal nurse holding a ‘peanut sized” infant (all kinds of wires and tubes trailing) in the lacuna above her collar bone Ambu bagging it. Surrounded by a group of, I later learned, 9 supporting people they were trekking down teens of flights of stairs to safety from the onslaught of the Hurricane Sandy. CNN interviewed her later. Even with the most wonderful “New Yawk” accent I have heard in years she casually described what she was doing was little more than she had been for the past 36 years. I knew that woman immediately.

She is the icon of the nurses determined to make babies live and to make me a doctor of babies.

The final and most personal is my acquiring new vision this past month as I presented myself twice two weeks apart to the medical care team that extracted the dirtied up lenses of 81 years replacing them with bright transparent bits of plastic. The second procedure went exactly as the first. Well practiced and “routine.” The follow up visit was as routine and I imagined probably the 6th or so of 15 or so my ophthalmologist would see that day.

Banal; the doctoring had brought to this one human being glorious color and clarity not experienced for thirty years. Activities avoided for years are now cherished. Joy in life indescribable.

What the doctoring folks do is practice a profession. It is through repetition making the extraordinary banal that the particular human need is served. It is no more entertainment than it is theology. I cringe when I see it characterized as either.As with that premature baby, it is the quality of the experience of those that are served that is sacred. The well practiced team members of nurses, technologists, clerks, and one lone soul bearing the appellation “doctor” comprised the envelop for its survival.

My wonderful and most loved Elizabeth (Betsy) Harrington described us best in her poem “Waiting for the Doctor”

“Ordinary. So ordinary it could be the voice
of someone in front of you at McDonald’s
ordering a cheeseburger with fries.”

I prefer Big Macs but I know he and I share the feeling that just “being there” is enough to nourish a life time.