Saturday, January 20, 2007

Triple Play

Lovely day with my phlebotibuds at the RC this morning. They have a lovely new machine, the TRIMA. Very nice that I can donate a double unit of platelets in just over 45 minutes. Very nice that it uses only one needle in one arm to both draw and return the blood after it extracts the glue (platelets).

And Monday last (yes I am late in reporting) I was informed that the RC here in Norfolk shall have the go-ahead from the FDA to start doing TRIPLE UNITS on this same machine; and with my platelet count that will just take an additional 10 minutes or so. That is starting the first full week of February, the 6th or 7th I believe, and I have been asked if I would like to be the first triple unit donor. Of course I said yes and am mentally rehearsing my soundbites and trying not to get too political or sectarian no matter what i would like to say.

Because personally, for me, this whole thing is about being prolife in the most personal and also widest scope of the word. I'm not one for hauling off with a ton of legislation about what women can and cannot do with their bodies. But I'm also not about saying that disposing of a life is right in any sense, and that includes not only abortion but the death penalty, war, limiting people's economic access to health care, hunger, homlessness, neglect, and abuse. Either all life is sacred or no life is sacred and it is not for us to sit in the ultimate judgement.

At the same time, people who are in the "pro life" movement but who support capital punishment, war, decrease in healthcare benefits, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, on a neocon agenda? You figure the world I have for them...it begins with an "H". Those who rant and picket and don't have the balls to roll up the sleeves & make another life last.... heh... unless you have a justifiable medical reason, you lose in the game of life.

Tha is why it is so important to me to do as much apheresis as humanly possible. Lives are in the balance. In the case of my platelet makeup that is mostly children's lives: children who I do not know what they will turn out to be as they become adults. One could save the world from its insane course of self-destruction, another could become a mass murderer, another could die a year later from their illness or something else - before they have had the chance to "do" anything as an adult or maybe never even getting to leave the hospital they were admitted to.

But I don't know these things. I don't know the children. But to me all their lives are equally precious. And so, as I go about my daily business, every child, every person I see, is or could be a part of me, and I a part of them. I cannot wish any of them dead, no matter what. It would be suicide by proxy.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sound Of Angels...And Breaking Commandments

Small graces in unexpected places. New Years Eve day was the voice of an angel in the guise of an 80something black-clad Yiayia with the strongest most beautiful voice I have heard in the few "Greek" Orthodox liturgies I've been a part of. Singing the choir and responses all from memory. 100% a capella. Needed my church fix, and here in Greenville, NC where I am currently working, that figures to a group of fifteen or so hearty souls braving this sola scriptura wonderland to carve out a door to that place between heaven and earth for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning. She was up from Tarpon Springs, FL (where all good Greeks go to retire) visiting family that one weekend and then she was gone....a momentary small grace that is sticking inside my head and rattling around like other small exquisite things that are all the more precious because they will never be experienced for the first time again. The first time I smelled orange blossoms straight from the tree, the taste of a 100+ year old pre-phyloxera Madiera vintage, how the perfect pair of fluffy cotton socks feel on the first freezing night of the year, prehensile babytoes.

I prefer to class those as "Acts of God" rather than the scurrilous use of that term used by insurance policy clauses.

We bring craptastic disasters on ourselves and dammit, I want my winters back!

Speaking of craptastic, it kinds sucks being from Virginia what with Virgil Goode's narrowheadedness and Pat Robertson's paranoia mongering, Virginia is becoming a hell sammich with a side of vitriol fries.

Pat and Virgil and Georgie and company want to continue wars. And ya know? that got me thinking about one of the commandments - Number 3. And the more I sat in this extended stay hotel room and thought deep thoughts, the more I realized that it's not about how many JCs or GDs one ejaculates in a fit of pique. Sure, that's not the most pious thing to do but it's a crap load worse to take G-d's name as the reason to kill someone, or beat someone, or deny someone their civil rights, or engender fear, or foster hatred in the "name of G-d".

What with all the evils spewing from the newsfronttelewarmachine, it's the memory of that small yet boundless grace of a lone perfect ancient-timeless-young voice chanting responses in a Greek I do and do not understand, that is pure comfort and joy.