Anathema Of Anesthesia
A friend had surgery yesterday.
We spoke briefly about our mutual fear around being ‘put under.’
I remember my youth spent skipping classes to dart outside and meet up with my cronies under a huge spruce tree where we proceeded to smoke so much pot that the very tree we sat beneath was gasping for oxygen.
Last evening, I was scheduled to have dinner with another friend.
He arrived very high and I said: “I can’t have dinner with you tonight because you’ve been smoking pot. We can pick another time.”
He said: “Come ON! I’m still me.”
“No.” I said. A definitive no.
I heard myself say these things with a friendly fierceness in my tone.
What do I know now about consciousness that I did not know long ago under that smokey spruce tree?
The reason the friend facing surgery and I shared fear about anesthesia
Is because we know what living in an unconscious way is like
And, now, following miles and years and eons of study, introspection, courage and grace
We are the beneficiaries of consciousness with some gravity to it;
And speaking for myself, this is my greatest gift and highest accomplishment.
To think of surrendering to medically warranted anesthesia is terrifying enough
But it makes me think of where in my life I purposefully blur my edges and render myself
A veritable wet washcloth version of Cathy.
Like my friend I chose not to spend an evening with because I experienced him as only half there,
I have my own numbing devices.
Witnessing my reluctance to spend my precious time with only a portion of the essence of a man available to me
Had me looking at how I gyp the world (people, practice, nature, critters, God)
By not bringing my full consciousness to the moment.
Something to think about, I tell you…
Sobering to say the least.