Saturday, August 19, 2006

Man, What A Year (so far)

Well, I'd like to say that I've been working up a storm or relaxing on a beach somewhere but truth to tell I've been doing neither. I've been trying to figure out if I should post this or not, so I'll just set it down here and since it's my blog...well there it is. Back in December of last year I needed to have my aortic valve replaced and my aortic root reconstructed. Quite a Christmas present that. It wasn't exactly a surprise. I've known about the impending need for this proceedure for a few years. I just thought that it wouldn't need to be done for another ten or so. In short, I had two open-heart proceedures in the span of about one month. Not something everyone has had, but I must say that what really amazed me was the relative ease of going through this. Not at all what I expected. Now, I must prefice this by saying that I'm not exceptionally brave or have a strong pain threshold. In fact, I've been known to whimper and cry like a little baby for the simplest of injuries. What I mean to say is I was more amazed at the marvel of medical science than I was scared of what I was going through. After years of reading science fiction literature and speculative fiction about what the future was going to bring, here it was, and I had a front row seat. I bring this all up because to my way of thinking it was science fiction and fantasy that helped to prepare me for what was to come. Perhaps I'm being overly simplistic, but that was the way I processed it. By now, I'm pretty much back to normal, although, I have discovered a renewed sense of wonder about this incredible genre that I participate in. It truly can change, and in point of fact, save lives because, at least for me, it changed my way of looking at the world and my place in it. I may be accused of being overly dramatic but as I said, this is my blog. At it's worst, science fiction is a temporary indulgence and a way to spend a lazy afternoon. At it's best, it shows us what we are and what we can be if we open our minds to the possibilities.
I've been reading Lou Ander's blog for a while now and found a quote he has there. It's by Robyn Hitchcock. "A good influence is someone that liberates something in you that was already there.
A bad one is one that just makes you imitate them."
That really is it in a nutshell. Science fiction was that one good influence, and it really made a difference.
Now, whenever I hear the metallic tick, tick, tick of my new titanium heart valve, I feel that sense of wonder all over again.

Till later...


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