Monday, December 27, 2010

How to be Alone

"Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it."

"If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pen Bouquet

With all the disadvantages and drawbacks of the obsolete method of paper charting in a medical facility, the one that is the most irksome is: losing pens. I typically lose at least 7 in week despite all my efforts. It might get lost in charts, misplaced in patients' rooms,  or a fellow colleague may have "borrowed" the  pen in a desperate measure to compensate their loss.  "Who took/stole my pen?!" is uttered by all departments everyday and every hour.  Professionals have accused their esteemed colleagues of theft and lies in a futile 30 second search to recover the lost instrument.  It's all in good humor, of course... But if we are all collectively losing pens, then how come we are also not finding pens? Any pens? Shouldn't the deficit cancel out?

This conundrum is also inspiring: I've created pen bouquets as holiday gifts for a few colleagues that I've "borrowed/stolen" pens from over the last 17 months.

It's not a solution to this mystery, but perhaps the delicate silk will serve as tracking device as it provides comfort to the weary hand. 


Terra-cotta, glass pebbles, silk flowers, pens, flowering tape

Sunday, December 12, 2010


iPhone & the City

I never understood how it was possible to love the life of a busy, fast-paced and merciless city and the bucolic and empty vastness of the country or mountain-side without being contradictory or hypocritical?

Perhaps it's because I view the City as a giant social experiment? And the Buildings are my man-made mountains and the People are cattle grazing on fields of ambition and greed.  It's incredibly entertaining and amusing to wander into the meandering streets without a purpose and to view life as it is... Perhaps a timely comment I heard of one city on NPR en route home appropriately sums all cities: "NYC is the world's biggest, free museum."

Philadelphia truly is the city of brotherly love.  I'm always greeted with warmth in these streets, and I'm especially astonished by the behavior of the homeless. In most occasions and circumstances, I witness them in jovial and carefree spirits even on a cold December Day. It's difficult to believe such attitudes are manifested in a life of squalor, uncertainty, destitution...  Which can also unequivocally translated to: a life of faith, adventure, freedom, and freedom from worldly possessions.... Perhaps this is the charm of the vagabond persuasion.

As much as I Love cities ( I don't like LA), I dream of big skies, mountains, fresh air, and never ending beauty. I dream of Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado...ALASKA. In due time. Insha'Allah.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Revisting Mr. S

Crossroads: Image from my
daily commute
I had called for a meeting to discuss Mr. S's code status with his wife and the rest of the team. Right when she walked in, I detected moisture around her eyes. But it was difficult to tell if she had been crying. She's a strong and well-composed women. We all knew what needed to be done. It's just about finally allowing the tongue to spew the words trapped in the heart.

Mr. S is still not eating. . No artificial nutrition. The drugs are not helping. "What would he want?"

Mrs. S is also a realistic woman. And brave. That morning she was taking the first step of a long journey of "letting go..." And now she was crying right infront of me.

"You are such an amazing wife." She nodded as she wiped her brown eyes. I rubbed her back. I learned this technique from observing my nurse coworkers. Sometimes a hug is just plain awkward when the subject of discussion is painful.... A back rub is a good compromise...but it always seems fake.

I need my own technique.

I didn't want to write about Mr. S. again or anything else work related for that matter.. But my two worlds always clash...and then you ask what is art? And what is life?

"Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" - Oscar Wilde