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3.15.2022

Holding Court

We all do it. Everyday. Mostly it is an automatic response to the neurons firing as our brains process something we read, see or do. We hold court. Not a court by jury either. It's a court of sentencing.

I sat in yet another waiting room. My chair was perched between the flow of people entering through the main doors and the pre-registration check in station. I heard the same line of pre-screening questioning over and over again, "Who are you here to see? Do you currently have any of these listed COV-ID symptoms or have been exposed to any one who has tested positive to COV-ID? Please take this buzzer and wait until it buzzes and then report to the registration window." I surmised by each person's responses whether they were there for labs, radiology or a doctor's appointment.

Some hobbled in. Others clearly struggled through every process that was needed for them to even be there; age, disease or obesity. Behind my mask I envisioned the health battle of each person and what brought them there. I smiled, as much as ones eyes can behind a mask, at each person as they walked by me. Many did not meet my extended smiling eyes. A few did. Mostly people were preoccupied on why they were there; a test, a doctor visit, not feeling well, emotionally overwhelmed, trying to survive.  

It was depressing. I too hated to be there. I hated yet another test, something to be checked which was the constant reminder of the ongoing physical millstone I felt. I hated the sights, the sounds, the never ending despair I felt any time I had to enter the world of medicine. I suspected most of these people here did too.

It was also encouraging. I realized our struggles, our ceilinged human bodies bound us together as well.  We were not designed to live forever, to be totally free of diseases of varying intensities and the struggle of age on our bodies. We share the struggle of struggle. That buck shot view solidifies the collective angst that comes with being a finite human being. It helps me then in my own personal struggle. I am not alone.

We are all complex beings. Marvelously intricate systems physically, emotionally and spiritually are housed in bodies that walk, talk and participate in a living world. It's a wonder that is never lost on me. 

I looked at every one's shoes. It's a thing I do when I hold high court in a waiting room. Why those shoes, I thought to myself as I perused the footwear of people in that waiting room. Some were very worn, out of style, didn't look swell with their clothing choice, somewhat inappropriate for the weather or were just plain ugly. Mine had shoelaces that were so long I had to double knot them like a 1st grader.

I laughed at my shoe court verdict. Shoes, I suppose, are merely things to keep our feet clean, dry and  to walk more easily over all kinds of surfaces. There was no moral attachment to the person wearing them even if I thought their shoes were a window to their character. They were just shoes worn by people who had bigger issues to battle than fashion.

One lady declared she wanted to sit as close to the registration desk as possible as she was trying to conserve steps. I, on the other hand, try to see how many steps I can get in on any given day. Maybe though one day I would be like her, unable to do no more than just the basics to get by. 20,000 steps a day will some day not be a thing I may be capable of either. 

My humanity leveled with hers. High court ended.

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