At around 10.30 on Wednesday morning I found myself sitting on the edge of a bed in my assigned cubicle in this clinic here in Freiburg, wondering why there was such a long wait before my operation – we had arrived at 8.
Seeing the nurse who had taken care of me on arrival passing by I asked her: when is it going to be my time? “It’s already over & done!” she said, and would I like some coffee, or tea?
Oh! What’s this? No time! No pain! A bit giddy but otherwise…
The surgeon for this Op had welcomed me soon after arrival. What a guy! Totally unassuming. When he first greeted me he had this towel wrapped around his head – and looked like, maybe, one of the orderlies, some attendant or other – until you looked into his eyes: soft, smiling, totally awake, totally present, inviting, receptive, not imposing on you at all, rather unlike the doctor we saw on Monday –who rather stood on his skills, but that was fine too, he certainly had them. But this was Power quiet. Another style. Another way, but same mastery…
Mishka came – on their instructions after they rang her – at 12.30. In a flash we were gone, no assistance needed, home in 15 minutes – and dead ready for a real cup of coffee, and…
After the Op the pain in my left leg that had been nonstop for 14 days was more or less absent, all day, but returned in the evening, so probably that was the work of the anesthetic. And at night time anyway…
Today, Thursday, it’s down 50%, that pain, and so I pray may it continue. The wound from the Op, stitched up of course for the next 14 days, is pretty quiet too. So maybe I’m well on the road to recovery.
Yesterday I got a mail from an old Wild Goose from Berlin, who I’ve not seen nor heard from since some years.
He writes what he has been going through in the meantime.
A sudden collapse on route to Prague to run a group, which turned out to be due to cancer of the bone marrow. 7 months in hospital, totally precarious now as he goes on with his life, on the edge…Reading it I felt fortunate, and full of compassion for him. So much pain can happen to all of us in this life. Is there no escape?
Osho saying, as he was dying, that it’s a good thing because his pain was so great.
A Raman Maharshi story, remembered from decades ago: A Westerner meets him on a path in the ashram there in southern India, greets him devotedly, and then says that he’s heard that Raman has throat cancer, and he must be in great pain, and Raman is reputed to have answered, “Yes, but what does that matter.”
Was he beyond it?
Then ‘my old pal’ Fritz Perls, student of Sigmund Freud, founder of Gestalt Therapy, saying, “Pain is just an opinion.”
Really? Is that possible? Was he joking?
And here’s another one, I like very much, an anonymous ‘prayer’: “God, please take care of the pain in my body, I’ll take care of the pain in my heart & mind!”
Makes one think of all the pain in the world – and also how some use it to get what they want from others, or even just to satisfy some sadistic need in them. Unbelievable, but yet it is happening in many places in our world today, and not only in the places we hear about...
We meet the surgeon again on Monday, the top doc from Bühl on Wednesday – and hopefully some of you – and others, in Berlin on Friday!