On equanimity

I’ve been spending a lot of time in hospitals lately. High-pitched, loudly insistent beeps, spindly yet durable equipment, and nurses in bright, shapeless scrubs in cheerful, insistent patterns, their voices equally cheerful and insistent. The hallways are bright and there’s a dispenser of anti-bacterial solution around every corner. In the room over a man lay in a coma, and his family spoke in loud voices, insisting that he’d had enough beauty sleep and needed to wake up soon. There’s a woman in the waiting room who’d been camping out there for about a week, her son in a coma as well. She has pillows, a laptop, an iPhone, books of Sudoku and crossword puzzles. My family and I are lucky in comparison, because my father’s health issues are complex but not insurmountable, and I don’t take it for granted.

Funny, this was a month where I vowed to cultivate equanimity, the idea of keeping an inner harmony in the middle of the rockiness of life. But all you can do is breathe and keep your eyes open sometimes; sometimes, that is enough. In the middle of it all, there is still an Indian summer to enjoy and moments where things are beautiful, all the more precious because they are so fleeting.

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