It’s not that I want to muse. Really, I don’t.
I try to watch the television screen that’s held by a mechanical arm as close to my face as I care to bring it. I try to listen to music through headphones, try to read the paper, try to do the crossword puzzle, try to scribble this and that in my little spiral notebook. Honestly, I do try to head my mind off, as it were. (Or is it mind my head off?)
But the process makes it hard not to muse: sitting in a recliner for three, four, five hours, on the receiving end of a tightly contained cataract a few feet long and a tube wide, the cataract’s source a pouch hanging from one tine of a chrome trident set upright beside the chair, all the while watching the tube twitch at the rate of a hummingbird’s heartbeat — it isn’t Chinese water torture, in that the drops don’t fall on your head, but the business does something to your head anyway. It is trance-inducing.
So — TV, music, headlines, puzzle and the comings and goings of nurses notwithstanding, I muse.
About, just now, growth.
Growth is wonderful. It is the essence of life, what we most dearly want. Think of our kids, think of our nest eggs, think of our self-confidence. Think of our affection for one another.
Yes, growth is good.
But then think of kudzu, and of cancer. Think of unstoppable growth that overtakes, chokes, usurps. Think of those wild jungle vines that spurt and obscure and ultimately crush even the stone of an abandoned temple, reducing it to dust.
Growth is good, absolutely. But also sometimes it is bad.
Which is why, back home in the States, we encourage growth, foster it, nurture it.
While here in Cancerland, at 500 drops a minute, we fight it.