Anathema Of Anesthesia

“LANDSCAPE”, 20″x 20″, 2002, m/m

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.

Pun intended.


2 Responses to “Anathema Of Anesthesia”

  1. Barry on March 30th, 2012

    “Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.
    That’s how the light gets in.
    That’s how the light gets in.” ………… Leonard Cohen

  2. Jane on March 30th, 2012

    I had a hard time with this one. I smoke pot for MS and arthritis symptoms (not without some guilt). Sometimes I feel like I am less conscious when I am in my throbbing, electric body than when I have had a few tokes and am calmer. Just saying…

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