Sunday, November 10, 2013


“A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. 
He must have time to modify his shape.” 
Mark Twain 

I was away from the ED all of 75 minutes, 
running wedding related errands when it hit me. 

Anxiousness -
what the hell was I doing away from work – 
in the middle of the day
creating a shortness of breath 
and feeling like I needed to jump out of the car. 
The surge of adrenaline made my heart lurch 
and my limbs feel jitsy –
eager to be moving, 
to be responding. 

I focused on breathing to tame the feelings; 
concentrated on being out in the sun, 
enjoying the leaves shimmering with light; 
explosions of gold and red; 
breathtaking beauty that we drive right by 
as though it was normal to see creation on fire.

 Or worse, we never see it. 
We’re inside buildings at our jobs 
while outside the earth is changing 
and pulsating in colors that should make us weep 
for the missing of them.

Things had been under control when I left the ED, 
but as I walked through the doors to return, 
I was greeted by a nurse, talking on the phone to my colleague, 
saying “Never mind, the Calvary just arrived”.

She proceeded to launch into a litany
of cases/people that needed my immediate attention, 
ending her stream of intercessions with 
What the hell were you thinking to leave in the middle of the day?” 

Seems the ED had ‘exploded’ at exactly the same time 
my anxiety about being gone had kicked in. 

I cried thinking about how in tune I’ve become to this place, 
how entwined – 
and how difficult leaving will be – 
not just for an hour in the middle of the day – 
but forever. 

Clearly, my ‘shape’ for retirement will need to be modified 
in ways that reach beyond the abilities of my personal trainer. 

My fear is they’re beyond my abilities as well.

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