To the Class of Medicine 1960,
I would like to thank you for the Class of Medicine 1960 Research Bursary opportunity for my 2018 summer academic term. Without it, I’d be idle and researchless. I’ll admit this latter neologism is not a word, which is both sign of littered learning spent this summer and the real weight of your help. Because of your gift, I’m without words.
Usually, I’m speckled with them, touched with easy mirth – quick laughs and bobbing witticisms. The research was serious business, however. It was in surgery. Cut and dry stuff, though much of it was wet. I was elbow-deep in it, trying to avoid soaking too much in it lest I want to remain me.
I’ve asked myself what that means this last while. Who I am is a question, I think, when one is convinced they are nothing. Here in that deep dark thing, they must move about in plodding motions, wadding as though a lonely pier in a storm. Where are the boats? Worse, where are the fish? How we stand alone.
This was what surgery was – standing, looking, and again and again, that cutting. I sliced. I knifed. I cut down a paper on decision making in surgery. I am unsure if it is good, if its air is more of a recovering breath or a covering gas. If it is the latter, at least it will make for good heat during these slinking winter months.
What I am trying to say – hotly and rapidly with these two hands together – is I like to believe I am that unique entity, that person who will fray above the dissolving, the dismay of each day, who will not submit to the dominion of empathetic solitude, who will not write the word empathy for isn’t love better, who is not loved, who loves love until it is not enough love for love, who wonders if the research of love is even liked at all, who needs not ask who is who for don’t I know, don’t I know I?
Here among the small things lost in the waters are what I do know, though:
- Your thanks is an endless ocean, a giving wave
- I am a 2nd year now and a sometimes writer who ends his works before they are finished waving goodbye
- I plan to end this repetition after medical school, perhaps mooring a spot in surgery
- I’ll admit I do not know much, researchless as I am on career prospects
What did you do? How did you do it? Was wading through the storm worse than staying still, standing tall? What happened to the waters after the drowned sailors told you they still adored the sea?
Here, too, I am uncertain, but I thank you dearly for giving me a chance to follow in those large steps where that pier now remains, swaying, silently, being swallowed by the coming storm.
My lovely thanks,