By the Pricking: 5 Dark Tales of Passion and Perversion

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And there is no better way to connect meaningfully with patients than to listen to their stories and to fully receive them. My belief in the importance of narrative is why I, like many other physicians , write creatively about my experiences in health care. About your secret to longevity, your cardboard fortress, or your personal opinion on barbecued meats.

Zachary G. Jacobs, M. The stories in this essay are based on actual patient encounters, although personal details have been omitted or modified to maintain patient privacy. He just kept talking, asking about my heart and my breathing. In retrospect, I must agree, although, at the time, I was focused on what I believed to be the more important matters of the heart. Nonetheless, filled with that volatile admixture of remorse and repose, resplendent, still gleaming though not as bright as in sunnier days, replete now more with memories than vision, garlanded by still extant white bangs, mnemonic of a long-ago coquette, during her last visit to my office her blue eyes pierced to the quick.

Because in that mythical distant time where our most cherished memories reside, styling in feminine cowboy boots, in a riot of black heels clicking, erect elbows careening, little female knees flashing as the joyous cowboy on her arm held on for dear life, her strong legs perfectly syncopated to the thumping beat of the feral music as her skirt helicoptered around her as though her energy was limitless and time could never slow her step, an illusion that must be so as perfect youth can only be if it is endless.

About this book

In that circumstance, the infancy of desire, the heart, in reality, a simple thing, is heard from only as a figurative organ, the literal one usually not raising its head until unveiled by the infirmities of old age. Now, looking back as a cardiologist involuntarily educated by the carnage of relentless time, the question constantly poses: which is the worse to be injured or broken?

In her simple country home, her static death bed did not become her, serving not as a place of rest, seeming instead one of fixation, only as a gathering point for her extended loving family, allowing them to hover round in not motion, their still unwilling faces frozen in anguish, riven with not yet tears, unable to face the obvious.


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In my case, in the sad stunted attitude of farewell forever, relegated in finality to being only a passive observer, I stooped over her bed, looking down at her now of agonal breath and failing heart, and then, shuffling to the dark corner of the room, withdrew into my own private grieving space, thinking of what a feisty character she had been, her numinous smile and bright eyes and all the banter and jokes that had flowed between us in countless office visits over twenty-five years, but mostly of what a tragedy it was that her legs were already dead.

In a perversion of that famous Socratic dictum, most doctors believe that an unexamined death is one not worth having; thus, here, in that apparently pointless hopeless moment at the ebb of her time, no longer extendable by the pitiful futility of medical gestures, looking back at the panorama of her long life and my intersection with it, I finally slowly grasped that, in my line of work, the most profound wisdom manifests not from the arrogance of empathy, but, rather, the humility of understanding.

And so, I quit her place and went home and sat alone in the still dusk on my back porch, pondering and waiting. Glad to see someone providing an alternate experience. Physicians need connections as too many are burning out. Really, in a ten minute slot you have entered the depths of narrative medicine? In this exhibition the multiple layers of wounding are explored in the sculpture and video piece Double Wounding , in which two arrows are shot into a life-sized torso my own , sculpted from wax.

Pain has been inflicted from without, as well as from within, implying that in a psychological sense we do this to ourselves. Dripping paint - analogous to tears or a bleeding wound -becomes a leitmotif in the exhibition. In the Teresa images, for example, the drips stream in a Baroque excess or bleed like an enamel stigmata.

Stories are the currency of medicine

The analogy could be made to human tears, where a build up or an excess, of joy or pain, may lead us to weep [5]. It is a deep and intense drama for Psyche, Eros, and Teresa, but one that in each case leads them to a desired and longed for union. There is a perverse blessing through this process in the unraveling and expansion of the self, but one that continues to reveal the many colours of the human heart.

971 - The Cornerstone of Protestantism / Darkness Before Dawn - Walter Veith

James Cochran, Return to. The sun not yet thy sighs from heaven clears, Thy old groans ring yet in my ancient ears; Lo, here upon thy cheek the stain doth sit Of an old tear that is not wash'd off yet: If e'er thou wast thyself and these woes thine, Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline: And art thou changed?

Thou chid'st me oft for loving Rosaline. For doting, not for loving, pupil mine. And bad'st me bury love. Not in a grave, To lay one in, another out to have. I pray thee, chide not; she whom I love now Doth grace for grace and love for love allow; The other did not so. O, she knew well Thy love did read by rote and could not spell. O, let us hence; I stand on sudden haste. Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.

Where the devil should this Romeo be? Came he not home to-night? Not to his father's; I spoke with his man. Ah, that same pale hard-hearted wench, that Rosaline. Torments him so, that he will sure run mad. Tybalt, the kinsman of old Capulet, Hath sent a letter to his father's house. A challenge, on my life. Romeo will answer it.

ACT 2 | Romeo and Juliet

Any man that can write may answer a letter. Nay, he will answer the letter's master, how he dares, being dared. Alas poor Romeo! Why, what is Tybalt? More than prince of cats, I can tell you. O, he is the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion; rests me his minim rest, one, two, and the third in your bosom: the very butcher of a silk button, a duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the very first house, of the first and second cause: ah, the immortal passado!

The what? The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes; these new tuners of accents! O, their bones, their bones! Here comes Romeo, here comes Romeo. Without his roe, like a dried herring: flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified! Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in: Laura to his lady was but a kitchen-wench; marry, she had a better love to be-rhyme her; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gipsy; Helen and Hero hildings and harlots; Thisbe a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose.

Signior Romeo, bon jour! You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night. Good morrow to you both. What counterfeit did I give you? The ship, sir, the slip; can you not conceive? Pardon, good Mercutio, my business was great; and in such a case as mine a man may strain courtesy. That's as much as to say, such a case as yours constrains a man to bow in the hams.

Meaning, to court'sy.

Previews and Openings

Thou hast most kindly hit it. A most courteous exposition. Nay, I am the very pink of courtesy.


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  • Pink for flower. Why, then is my pump well flowered. Well said: follow me this jest now till thou hast worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it is worn, the jest may remain after the wearing sole singular. O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness. Come between us, good Benvolio; my wits faint. Switch and spurs, switch and spurs; or I'll cry a match. Nay, if thy wits run the wild-goose chase, I have done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five: was I with you there for the goose?