I’ve been reading a lot of books by physicians in the past year, beginning with Rachel Naomi Remen’s “Kitchen Table Wisdom” and its sequel. I just finished “Close to the Bone” by Jean Shinoda Bolen and “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese. All share a wonderful ability to tell stories, often based on encounters with their patients. I am most intrigued with how they allow those experiences to shed light on their own human- and healing- journey. As physicians we are privileged to share in the sacred moments of life and death and everything in between. The special gift is to take the time and the risk to enter into those experiences at a deeper level. In this way we continue to learn and we hopefully become more compassionate healers through telling the stories to ourselves and to others.
We go beyond “meaning in medicine” to meaning in suffering, meaning in mystery, meaning in life’s journey at every turn in the road.
I am grateful to these mentors and colleagues who have developed the art of medicine and shared it in literary form. They inspire me to continue this little blog, my “Desert Blooms” newsletter for the project in Anapra, my occasional articles for our congregational publication. Telling the stories is therapeutic. It is also my way of giving thanks.