It takes 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Unless I trip and fumble for my badge. Then it take 4 minutes and 32 seconds.
4 minutes and 30 seconds.
People run miles faster than this.
But my intention is not to run or to even walk.
My intention is to be, breath and simply be,
It starts with a phone call.
Can you see another for me?
Room 19, 72 year old female, looks like a COPD exacerbation, maybe a new pneumonia. Call me when your done.
“Okay, sounds good, will do.”
For the next 84 seconds I prepare for the pause.
I scour the electronic medical record for vitals, white count, current meds, what did the ED doc do anyway? I even get a a glance at the CXR, seems like another overread.
And then its over.
84 seconds is all its takes for me to realize the real answers I need aren’t in the chart.
They will never be in the chart.
Unless I decide to put them there.
And then it begins.
The 4 minutes and 30 seconds began to tick.
I grab my white coat, pocket my phone, double check for my keys, and scoop up my stethoscope.
I start to walk. I notice the heaviness now of my burdened white coat, stained with the tears and spit up of infants.
Badges of honor I like to think.
Telling the stories of past hugs and cuddles gone awry.
I shrug my shoulders mid stride, and complete the roll of my scapula back to where they should have been all along.
There’s no time for tight trapezii during the pause.
I start to notice the ground beneath my feet, my minimalist shoes gripping my toes like a 2 year old hugging his ice cream cone.
The ground never felt so alive.
I’m nearly 2 minutes in now, 3 staircases down and I’m on to flat ground.
I begin to smell the Subway stench, the half baked bread, and half eaten sandwiches beckoning to the adventurous souls willing to wander from the comfort of the cafeteria.
3 minutes now and I’m in the lobby.
There’s a four maybe five year old kid running towards the gift shop.
He just saw the giant panda.
And it’s about time someone fed him some bamboo.
I start to smile as I round the corner, the chapel calling to my heart, reminding me it’s time to center.
There’s only one minute left.
And I’m still half full.
One deep breath in,
And a heavy sigh out,
I feel the weight begin to lessen
As the space becomes a void
And the void becomes an awareness.
That the emptying has now begun.
My heart erupts to open
As my mind chooses to close
Thoughts start to flee for safety
In the bowels of my unconscious.
There’s no room for petty attachment
In the world of empty freedom.
I feel it churning, burning, yearning to remain unseen
Judgement and hurt never dress for the party, you see.
They found out long ago
That the best way to remain unseen
is to wear no clothes.
The only problem?
Judgement and hurt forgot one thing:
One very important thing.
Naked can see naked
There's no place to run and hide
4 minutes and 30 seconds
And I’m naked at your beside.
My body become a vessel
To receive your heart and fears
It’s what the moment calls for
A pause to find my ears.