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31st December 2010

Ring Out

Alfred Lord Tennyson’s melancholy poem “Ring Out Wild Bells” has been reverberating in my soul these past few days. It’s an LDS hymn that we sing near New Year’s. The story goes (although I can’t find internet confirmation) that the composer, Crawford Gates, was a soldier in WWII, despairing over all of the death and misery around him, when he read this poem and composed the music. The music is in a minor key, suiting the death of a year, and is laced with longing and a little bit of regret. Many complain that it’s depressing, that the new year should be sung in with glad tidings and joyous celebrations; I love it, because I’ve always found New Year’s to be a somewhat mournful day and frankly I think the music suits the frosty “winteriness” of the season (if you’re in the northern hemisphere, I suppose).

Anyway, I thought I’d share the lyrics. And link you to the LDS version of the song.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Happy New Year, my friends and family! I am, as always, so blessed and grateful to have you in my life.
(And now to bed – I’m on call tomorrow – ouch!)

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6th December 2010



My good friend Sarah is going through a tough time right now (long story short: dating over the age of 30 sucks, especially when the boys of our dating age seem to have forgotten that they have aged as well) and since I know that she loves getting mentions in the blog, this one is entirely for her.

Last night, I browsed through my memories and found my old entry on favorite hugs where you all had given me such great ideas about hugs, because if there is one thing that brings me a measure of comfort in depression and despair is a good, heartfelt hug from friends. I did get to see her and hug her today, but here are a few more virtual ones to help her get through the upcoming days. (Only the Anne pics are mine; everything else I borrowed and plan on returning them. Eventually)

(Warning: image heavy and cut your benefit. 🙂 )
Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd December 2010

prolonging the heartbreak

prolonging the heartbreak

My patient made me cry today. He’s one of my favorites; a patient under my care for the last two years and I’ve coaxed him into getting flu shots, sleep studies, new medications, while listening to his ailments and heartaches. Today he told me that I was the “best doctor he ever had” and praised me to my attending.

Then I told him that I was leaving in six moths and this was probably our last visit.

I’ll admit I lingered over the visit, making sure he was “tucked in,” the colloquialism used for making sure that all of the loose ends are tied up before passing a patient on to the covering physician. I cajoled him into a few more tests to work up some of the complaints that I hadn’t been able to figure out. I confirmed that I had documented all of his health maintenance and tried to convince him one more time that he needed a colonoscopy, which he, as always, brushed off.

And then, before I left for the last time, I held his hand and felt tears prickle. I’ve been so careful to protect my heart, to focus on all that I need to complete and do. The new city. The drudgery of packing and moving. I didn’t want to stop, to think about what I was leaving behind.

I wasn’t supposed to miss this. Not yet.

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