The hospital stands mute witness to birthing and dying. A temple in my younger days, now an environmentally correct factory.
I didn't use to begrudge my years passing, while passing through these halls, and hardly seemed to notice that one more Christmas was spent, in the pursuit of the affection and gratituide of strangers.
This Christmas seems distant for this. Perhaps it is the distance of being Attending not house officer, Supervisor rather than Actor in this ancient play.
Other years I spent mercenary in foreign ER's working to pay for the education of my son whose mind like my own fails to suit the majority.
This year, the 'Unit' is relatively quiet, and with the passing of the years, Familiarity my old enemy, my old Bane, the ennui of competence overwhelms me.
No excitement of newness, no being on the knife's edge of my abilities can drive me now.
Only left are the faces of my children in their Childhood, now taken from me with times swift and merciless passing, vapors on the wind that sweeps desolately through me, and with Scrooge-like remorse I see Christmas as it should have been, with my children.
I listen as I write, to the lyrical elegance of a Medieval Mystic, the voices resound through my own soul, and recall as time when I too served in a Monastery, served gladly as a way to escape my own putrid and flawed humanity.
But as the dust has blown he who has created that which outlived him, I now stand scoured by that time dust, raw and saddened at the death of Childhood.
Death I know well, Memories I am master of, Words serve me gladly, but hot, sour, and bitterly galling is this life spent in excess passion for the never granted Love of strangers
I mourn appropriate to the Solstice, Appropriate to the winters cold and darkest days.
I mourn the death of my children's Childs years, the end of passion for Craft, The death of Medievalism, and the passing of my Guild into industrial irrelevance.
I await now, hoping that as the days complete another cyclical year, that the promise of the mystic will be fulfilled: New Life, New Purpose, New Goals, Newness, Rebirth The light and Joy of Spring.
And I hope I will recapture in my children's children, the children I left each Christmas for service in these hollow and false temples.
frank meissner md
25 Dec 1995