Op Note

Exploratory surgery went well.

No major organs were removed, no malignant tumors visualized.

Began with sharp dissection, but the lines drawn with the scalpel were

too precise, too reliant

on a duality of open or closed.

It could only touch the surface.

So, turning to blunt dissection instead,

tissue toughened over years was gently massaged

with the fingers, slowly separating fascia from muscle,

creating weak spots that eventually gave way.

Layer upon layer of muscle was loosened in this way

until the glistening organ showed itself

pulsing and quivering with aliveness.

The room was quiet, the clattering of instruments stilled.

There was just the breath

in and out

and a silent meeting

of the hand and viscera.

Just to see it in the light of day was a miracle.

But of course, one cannot walk out into the world

with the wound gaping open.

So sutures were placed, closing the layers,

tissue well approximated,

hemostasis achieved.

Coming out of the steady silence of

meditation, the wound is a bit tender,

but it will heal well.

And when that silence is encountered again,

the scar will know how to give way,

how to reveal the tender mass

of hurt

with a little less resistance.

written during Rohatsu Sesshin, December 1-8, 2019

Dharma Rain Zen Center, Portland, OR