A couple of thoughts on leaving the hospital and coming home.
First, a hospital is a spiritual place. I used to think spiritual places were solemn. Solemn as in only solemn, solemn as in the hushed silence of going into a church for a memorial service or wedding. Then I spent an afternoon at a spiritual site – it wasn’t a church, actually it was a sort of anti-church that the Catholic church has been fighting for 500 years and temple seems way too grand – dedicated to Maximón.
It was actually a major rite of passage for me, I had gone there to photograph the site and, I am sorry to say, make fun of it. As soon as I got there, I started to throw-up and shake, after a session with the Tz’utujil shaman/priests, I felt great. Sitting around, I saw solemn moments, sadness and pathos, but more laughter and hilarity. It was eye opening on every level.
A hospital is like that: it is over- ridingly a spiritual place where life in all its forms is played out on steroids. The rooms may be filled with people in pain and distress but the hall are filled with joy and humor and that energy comes into each room dozens of times a day. Becky, an astoundingly black, astoundingly gorgeous woman from Uganda, coming into the room at 6 in the morning with a wide, infectious smile, glowing as she gently takes my blood; Sherry, an Indian from Fiji, spreading calm and peace as she takes my vitals; the lead nurse, in her hijab, serenely watching her wards.
If this is the future of America, sign me up.
Second, I have left the hospital and have come home. The hospital has so many advantages, and it isn’t home. Nothing beats my own beddy-bye. Even a great hotel. I look at the calendar and I have been gone almost a week, but nothing seems to have changed. Of course it has, Christmas is gone; time has continued to flow even though it didn’t in the hospital and I am ready to slip back into that flow. Feeling serene and grateful.