the mayhem of mercy
Date: 7/24/2007 11:59:33 AM ( 15 y ) ... viewed 2865 times
As a person that relies on daily dialysis to stay alive, I am quite amazed at the many changes I have gone through in my journey to where I am.
A dialysis patient lives, either in pain, discomfort, or the possibility of pain or discomfort, not ‘constantly’- but certainly.
One’s perspectives begin to shift drastically. Priorities change. A ‘good’ day becomes a Great day, as they become fewer and farther between.
It is also very difficult for ‘average’ people, that is, people who are relatively healthy and mostly pain-free in their daily lives, to relate to someone that relies on dialysis to stay alive. People can be rather cruel, without intending to be.
We humans have a tendency to gather together in groups of people with similar interests and opinions. These groups can become slightly ‘clique-ish’ and exclusive in their habits and views. Vision narrows, so to speak, and it seems that the collective intelligence quotient diminishes exponentially as the group expands in numbers.
One of the saddest things I can remember seeing was a seagull, many years ago. I was walking to work one morning, and as I strolled up the street I usually walked along to get to my job, I passed a string of shops that were not open for business yet, as it was still quite early in the morning.
In a doorway that was slightly recessed, as if to hide himself, there was a seagull. I could see that he had injured his foot and could not put any weight on it. He hobbled from the inner sanctum of the doorway to the street-end, where he scanned the sky, a slight, keening whimper escaping from his beak.
A whimper of pain, and possibly, fear. Fear for what he knew was to come.
Living near the Pacific Ocean, I have had occasion to observe many species of sea and bird-life. Seagulls abound, of course, and so it has been more than once that I have seen how a flock of gulls will literally tear apart any one of their numbers that has fallen ill, has grown too old to move fast, or is injured somehow.
The intention, I suppose, is to keep the flock strong and healthy, and any individual that might slow the flock down in its quest for food is simply destroyed, torn to pieces, literally. Usually, there is nothing left but a few ragged feathers and perhaps, a beak or toe.
This gull in the doorway knew instinctively, that its fate was sealed in this ancient covenant. There was really nothing that I could do but to continue my walk to work and let nature take its course. But, I have often thought of that gull and wondered about the emotion that he must have been feeling at that time.
Since I have become dependant on dialysis to stay alive, I think I have come to a clearer understanding of how that gull felt.
Humans are not that different from seagulls, in some ways.
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