April 1, 2022
I sat transfixed at the sight. My fascination was over the top in an admittedly juvenile fashion. I could not help it nor did I want to.
The oral surgeon’s office sat atop a hill, on the highest floor of the building. Other rooms of the office housed a lab of sorts and a more typical surgery room. But I sat in the corner with windows on two sides.
I could watch the top of a crane which lifted panels for a new hotel complex. But I could not help but stare at the X-ray type images displayed onscreen.
Three squares in the four square panel were blown up images of my lower right jaw. Each was locked in place at differing angles. When he traced the path of my nerve in red, each X-ray displayed its track.
The fourth screen displayed my entire skull. I sat, tired, looking at the skull not realizing it was not a mock-up or example.
“Is that me ?” I asked rather abruptly. “Yes,” the assistant answered with a bit of a chuckle.
The assistant called in the surgeon. He measured onscreen as well as in my mouth, adjusting angles and lengths. He fine tuned with cross haired aim on the image with increasing magnification.
He explained the process of drilling an opening in my newly grown bone. He showed me the lengths of posts – eight versus ten millimeters – whose choice would be determined by the depth of bone until my nerve.
He drew a red line onscreen where blackness tunneled through bone.
As the two prepared tools, I stared at my skull. I thought to myself that it is all I am. What will remain of me is the bone of my skull.
“I am just a skull. All those thoughts, experiences, senses. I am just a skull.”
My mood dampened.
“That’s it. That’s all I am.”
I kept staring.
“That’s me. That is me. That is what I am. At the most basic, that is me. And that is all.”
That skull grew more and more beautiful. I felt connected to G~d in a way I had not prior. It looked like a portrait gifted to me by something greater than myself.
Scientific? Yes, most definitely. But I fell awestruck by what had been given to me. My skull.
My skull within which lies my thoughts and experiences and the central office of my body’s nerves.
And beneneath my face, under skin and makeup, lies my truth, a gift given to me. My brain savored the idea of my truth literally embodied in that skull. Changes will occur but my skull is my skull.
Those thoughts kept burning happily within my soul.
As I strive to care for my health, the truth of my given skull inspires me. Surely traumatic events may occur in ones life, but ninety percent of the time, a skull is a skull.
It’s human and humane. It’s scientific and G-d given; haunting and beautiful.
And elegantly simple.
May you be your inspiration; your spirit, your essence and the gift you are.