Would it be better if we didn't get sick? Translated back from Japanese, Atul Gawande writes of the dying: “My own way of my own in the end of the story I want to display.” On Anuhea Circle Drive in Volcano I walked until I saw the mountain ahead of me, a molting longhorn sheep grazing in the field, its neck tied to a long clothes line. Halfway there, a house had fallen in the rain forest, its timbers stuck through the ferns, all akimbo. “Triangle,” the 3-year old girl said with delight, and this was one, lacking hypotenuse or clear angle. Beside the road, heaps of trash: a stroller, fast food packaging, broken chairs, and two old cars. I glanced at the silver Neon, rooted in the mossy sponge that covers lava rock. Someone was looking back: an Asian man with silver hair and thin beard. I waved twice, once on my way to the mountain view, and once on the way back. He was lodged between the steering wheel and old upholstery, eyes open to the road. My former student's wife sits propped up in palliative care: “I'm imprisoned,” she tells him. There's a small window in the white room, a few flowers, and a button to push for a nurse's care. That's a separate photograph, and another that shows her hand only, resting on the bed's rail.
--8 August 2016
#30, Jan Zwicky