Wow. Sitting still for 12 hours is hard.
It would probably help to think of it as a sit,
zazen meditation practice.
Rather than a long-ass flight from San Francisco to Beijing.
Maybe it’s because I’m older now,
and I’ve worked a regular week at clinic,
standing and doing pelvic exams and running around all day,
my arm perpetually lifted and gripping a pen
filling out the bajillion referral and approval forms,
the full-page notes that I write for each patient I see,
the prescriptions and ‘indigent’ medication program papers,
the endless labs and imaging studies.
It will be interesting to do something entirely different.
For the next two weeks it will be a whirlwind of meetings
with various partnering organizations in the
Chinese HIV public health world.
Running around means
going from San Francisco to Beijing to Chongqing in 24 hours.
Instead of gripping a pen
I will be tapping away at my laptop keyboard.
I won’t have back-to-back patients
but back-to-back officials and administrators.
My frustrations will not be focused on
why I can’t get a specialty service for one patient
but rather why no one with HIV in all of China
can get adequate specialty care.
In both places, diplomacy matters.
Remain calm and carry on.
In a hurricane,
if I freak out and get exhausted,
I miss the calm clarity of the eye of the storm.
I need to learn to see and accept things as they are
so I can properly identify where
we can make constructive change.
slow and steady.