Friday, October 1, 2010

Son House - Death Letter Blues

Over on facebook James Ford posted a clip of the Max Fliesher animation of Cab Callaway's Saint James Infirmary, citing it as an example of Zen master endorsed ultra-cool. I agree with its' ultra-cool character and in a similar spirit offer up this clip of the amazing Son House. Here he performs his classic Death Letter Blues, an unblinking musical look into the face of death. Son House does not flinch or look away, but rather tells it like it is! Does it get cooler than this?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bodhisattva, Take My Blood!

Her ID card now so close

That even I can read it,

"Sandra C Espinosa - CPN

Certified Phlebotomy Tech"

So it reads,

But I don't believe it.

Surely this is Avalokiteshvara,

Bodhisattva of Compassion,

Fresh stepped from his/her Tusita Heaven

Or sprung to life from some far Ankor wall,

To plunge a painless needle

Into my pre-dawn arm,

Softer than a mosquito's kiss.

Bodhisattva, take my blood!

My latest operation at UCSD Hospital was a success! After a 9 day post-surgical stay, I am home and healing. I've actually been home for over a week, but have only now felt well enough to post here. I am delighted to report that the biliary drain I have had sticking out of my side for the last two years is now gone! Gone too are the 30 or so metal staples across my battle-scared abdomen, in their place a row of plastic tape strips which will drop off one by one over the next week or so.

The Biliary drain was a legacy of my liver transplant from two years ago, a blod clot in my new liver damaged the bile ducts. This leaking made me a very sick fellow and gave us all some rough moments. A trans-hepatic drain was installed to save my bacon and it did the job, but at a terrible cost. It had to be exchanged 17 times over a nearly two year period. Nearly every drain exchange (usually a out-patient procedure) landed me in the hospital for a couple of days with a variety of bacterial infections.

One positive thing I gained from my two year medical odyssey is a great deal of respect for all of the hardworking professionals at UCSD Hospital. Docs, nurses, techs of all sorts, even the folks in admissions who put the little wristbands on me. During this latest stay, I awoke one morning to find my blood being drawn by a young lady who bore a striking resemblance to the the amazing sculptured figures from the Ankor Wat temple in Cambodia. Sandra is Philippina by background, but she told me that one of here grandfathers has very classic "chinese" features. Whatever the specifics of her blood-line, she's a skilled phlebotomist and her needle indeed painless. Hurray!

Today's image comes from a very interesting blog recounting a Sabbatical trip to Ankor Wat, illustrated with many fine photographs. Check out Robert's Sabbatical at: