Notes from the Waiting Room

September 10, 2009

Windrum’s Way Out Politiku

Filed under: Notes from the Waiting Room — bartwindrum @ 9:48 am
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In yesterday afternoon’s HARO (www.HelpAReporterOut) list I learned of Susanna Speier’s Huffington Post column, Politiku. Politikus are hiku’s (3-line Japanese poems or stanzas with a 5-syllable, 7-syllable, 5-syllable structure) focusing on all things political. Speier put out a HARO call for health care reform politikus. Right up my alley (I write poetry in addition to books).

I purposefully didn’t want to over-edit, preferring to go with the flow. These days my flow muses about the true time and nature of “death panels”—a topic on which I am soon to shop a 1700-word article. The hiku below is based on my core thoughts, expressed in a way so as not to publish them in a technical sense, which would preclude the article from consideration as an original work.

Windrum’s Way Out Politiku

Death panels: self-serve;
Must be so else goose is cooked.
The road *will* be crossed.

Chickening out? Not
an option. Go in time or
machines run you down.

Die in peace we say
and avoid that at all costs
zombies ’til the end.

Do your own work now.
Doctor, don’t take this on too.
Road chicken? Fly high.


March 29, 2009

Obsession: Getting it Right When Getting it Wrong Hurts Too Much

Filed under: Notes from the Waiting Room — bartwindrum @ 12:11 pm
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INAUGURAL BLOG POST: This weekend I attended the Colorado Independent Publishers Association annual College—the annual brain dump, er, conference. Saturday’s closing session, by distant past President Kenn Amdahl, titled My Obsession Your Obsession, was brilliant. A melange/collage of thought and expression, Kenn spoke over/while playing guitar, resurrecting and interpreting 200 year old unearthed Irish folk songs while unfolding his theme: authors’ works emanate from their obsession; everyone has obsessions; connecting requires bridging obsessions.

Kenn brilliantly asserted that we authors (and I’ll include speakers) fail to communicate our essential mission because we haven’t figured out how to express our obsession. Worst case alternative is we prattle on about our books and work. That the obsession behind our presence is likely unconscious.

Thank you Kenn! I awoke at 4:30am; my subconscious, having been set to work, had produced:

My obsession is Getting it Right When Getting it Wrong Hurts Too Much.

That’s what lays behind and supports Notes from the Waiting Room: Managing a Loved One’s End of Life Hospitalization, The Option to Die in PEACE (Patient Ethical Alternative Care Elective), and How to Effectively Settle the Family Estate. My authorship, speaking, and reform activities.

Crucibles are valuable places, all the more so when we understand that they are. I describe terminal hospitalization as a crucible we slam into. Trouble with this crucible is that it’s among the roughest, and it’s damn near impossible to extract one’s patient-family once in it. It’s very hard to make right decisions there, because there’s so much to know, so little time, likely zero guidance, and virtually none of us has done the advance work (I do *not* mean advance planning, although that could, and ought, be a component).

So this is the obsession that animates my thinking, writing, speaking, and reform efforts. Getting it Right When Getting it Wrong Hurts Too Much.

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