ode to my enemy, my anesthesiologist

prepare for surgery...

three nights ago i dreamed:

the person i distrust most in this universe

was assigned

as my anesthesiologist

for an upcoming operation.

i spent the entire dream


scared, that he would use his powers

of disenchantment

to make me feel exquisite pain,

the pain he felt when i inadvertently or

perhaps not-so-inadvertently hurt him.

Would you want your most distrusted enemy

to be your anesthesiologist?

When we wake up to bright air and sunlight

can we bring our beloved enemy into the

awakeness of our being,

into our fibers and sinew,

so he won’t hurt us sideways in the night of our pain?

Can we welcome him here, now,

so when he tries to put the mask over our face

we’re not overwhelmed,

so that we can look him gently in the eye

and bless him as the ethers encompass us both?


14 thoughts on “ode to my enemy, my anesthesiologist

  1. Your words today remind me of a book I am currently reading “The Voice of Knowledge” by don Miguel Ruiz (author of “The Four Agreements”). Our thoughts of others are nothing more than stories we tell ourselves to make that person fit our perceptions. That person is doing the same to us. By the way, the “voice of knowledge” lies to us . . . Ruiz recommends we listen, but don’t believe everything we think or hear.

  2. Dear friends, can you imagine the person with whom you have the most difficulty in your life being your anesthesiologist for your operation? Can you imagine the horror of it? If you can–welcome to my dream. **smile** What an opportunity to meet something deep inside of us that requests reconcilliation–at the level of the cells. Barbara, thank you for that Ruiz quote. I have always resonated with Toltec teachings. Thanks everyone!

  3. Reading your thoughts made me remember the movie “Crash.” In it a racist white cop pats down (sexually molests) a black woman during a traffic stop. Later on she gets into a car crash. Guess who shows up at the scene to save her life by pulling her out of the overturned car before it burst into flames? What a horrible situation, but it really makes one think…

  4. It does indeed make one think, Barbara. To think that our molester could be our savior. Our pain, our blessing. It is horrible…but somehow I think that sometimes–maybe–it’s possible.

  5. This poem is very moving, and really thought provoking. I am imagining the worst enemy of my imagination, and am thinking no way would I surrender my trust to them. It is a blockage. And as I read your poem it brought tears to my eyes, tears of awareness.

    • Meg, thank you for visiting and listening to the poem with your heart. I am thinking that, perhaps, it may not be wise to surrender our trust to our worst enemy. Perhaps our worst enemy would seek to damage us. And, yet, is there a space in our heart to surround them with love, with compassion? That is the question I ask myself.

  6. Kathy,
    I am reminded of this thing I learned at the Zen Center, it comes from Hawaii I think, when you have wronged someone or are struggling with forgiveness you pray I am so sorry, please forgive me, Thank you, I love you. I have said this 100 times (four times around on my mala beads). Yes surround them with love! 🙂

  7. Strange that you should mention an anesthesiologist, Kathy. Several times in my life I went into one of those freezing OP-rooms. At the very last minute before I received the injection by the anesthesiologist, I thought I gave him my total trust. I was not in charge any longer of my breathing, my life. In a way I did not like this idea and in another I had to trust him/her fully. Then everything went so fast, I did not think any further. When I woke up again, I sometimes had tears my eyes. Maybe my last thoughts before sleeping ? Would these anesthesiologists have been ennemies of mine, I would have had not other choice but trust them and stay positive.

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