I can't go on. I'll go on - Samuel Beckett
If I am ever fortunate enough to come across a genius like the gifted Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a simple conversation will satisfy me just fine.
When Breath Becomes Air is more than an appreciation for medicine. It inhabits everything that medicine can't define. It is what I know to be true about this world, and will one day discover in the after. Imagine a purpose so connected that it never ends, and even though Dr. Kalanithi memoir is left unfinished it is still being written by his legacy.
The first time I finished the book I thought, Is this how his time on earth came full circle? A fire to understand life that burned so hot philosophy and literature alone couldn't put it out. Then like a true scientist he went to the foundation, the facts of proven practice to understand. Dr. kalanithi explains how after being diagnosed with stage IV Cancer anyone would have understood him walking away from medicine; anyone but him.
I admire his ability to ask questions that we argue are better left unanswered. To seek not perfection, that is too easy; instead offering a devotion to his craft that I don't believe even he knew he was capable of.
I've had trouble building dTinsleys'. Mostly because I want so bad to create artwork that transcends anything that I've ever seen. I want to build work that other women will find moving and tangible; diamonds that our children will read, a foundation for my generations.
Struggling with wanting everything to be just right and realizing now that it is not the perfection I'm after; it is my own need to challenge myself, and offer work that is worth my time and yours. I know.... good things take time; great things might even take a lifetime.
As I'm writing this I'm thinking... I don't believe going against the mold or intentionally building a legacy was ever the Docs goal. He did what he loved and moved from the heart.
Thank you Doc for inspiring the inspired. Mastering a life that your daughter and many daughters will read about, and gifting medicine and this world a genius among-st our time.
A Few Quotes from When Breath Becomes Air
"A brief response to religion, "Bearded white men in robes."
"Meeting patients where they are, and bringing them as far as you can."
"Acquiring rich experiences, then retreating to write about them. I need words to go forward."
"Can you breathe okay with my head on your chest like this?" His answer was "It's the only way I know how to breathe."