Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Law School Update 10

Exams start next week but today is not a day for studying. Though, I do open my law books every once in awhile when I realize that I really have nothing better to be doing with myself.

When I first awoke this morning I thought I was awakening from the end of a bad dream. The type that leaves your pillow soaked and your eyes dry. Later I realized that it was not a dream at all, but that I had yesterday become a character in a very sad story. The story was originally about a girl named Meghan Baker who was pretty much perfect in every way and who I had the best fortune to meet in the best kind of way during one of the best times of my life.

Meghan wasn't supposed to die because she was to me, the model of everything a human being ought to be. She was compassionate, considerate, thoughtful, honest, patient, open-minded, strong, smart, kind, and had just the right balance of confidence and humility. She was a traveler and a friend, a good cook and a vegetarian. She was also incredibly pretty.

On the last day of my first trip to Korea, I got incredibly sick. Everyone else was busy, but Meghan walked over in the rain to Adam's house where I was staying. She brought a pot and ingredients and made me an amazing going-away/getting-well soup feast. She wasn't scared that I might get her sick, or put off by the rain, or stressed because she had to work the next day. She was only concerned with being my friend. I hoped that we would be friends forever.

During my second trip to Korea we were having tofu basil sandwiches at one of my favorite cafes in Itaewon when she told me that she had found a lump in her breast. I remember feeling scared but thinking that it had to be okay, because my story would not be written such that someone like Meghan would get cancer.

I find faith to be a fleeting thing.

Meghan died yesterday after fighting cancer for 18 months. She had a painful but beautiful struggle. And being touched by it, I remind myself that my story, though currently sad, is pretty too. Prettier definitely as a result of Meghan having been a part of it. There is no music, but my heart feels as if it is playing the soundtrack to the end of Meghan's life. I listen to it as I take a break from turning pages of law school texts, to instead just letting the pages of my life turn over me.

Meghan's story is written here: I recommend reading from the beginning. It is really an inspiring, beautiful thing that she wrote:

For her fanpage, and to pay tribute, visit: Thank you to those of you who, though you may not have known her personally, were supportive and present during her last few months here.

To donate in lieu of flowers, contact Kelly Shires Breast Cancer Foundation at 1-877-436-6467.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Random Law School Update 9

Current Location: Desk, Washington DC

I want to keep writing semi-regular emails, but also realize that my life here in law school, as fascinating as it is to me, likely bores the better portion of everyone else in society. All I can try to do is to convince you of how great it really is. Today I will explain why I love the library. The library is like a fairytale castle filled with coded tomes that seem plain to the ordinary eye, but are each filled with nuggets of truth that become gems of clarity and light as one learns to wield their powers. Sometimes I sit in the library just to bask in the essence of all the gems glowing warmly around me. On some days, the sensation is no less grand than sumitting a tall mountain, or frolicking through a grassy meadow. In some ways, I don't feel like my travels have stopped at all. I am exploring my world now as much as ever.

The hospital is not so easily glorified. I have been going regularly since being diagnosed with ITP last week. I do not like hospitals, or needles, or blood, or waiting rooms. I do not like imagining myself as a composition of independently fallible pieces, every one of which I am not in total control. I do not like, but I also do not like not liking. So I try to be patient.

The administration of medicine is unlike the administration of law. In law one can often find a loophole, an out, a way of articulating something just a little bit differently that changes it altogether. In medicine, there are no semantic outs. You have disease A or you don't. If you have disease A, you must choose available option 1, 2, or 3 to proceed. You cannot make up an option 4 or negotiate with disease A to create a win-win situation. You must take disease A as a given, and often the solution is a given as well. There is no room for argument, you can only say "ok."

So I have been saying "ok" a lot this week to the things that bother me most. I am learning to calmly float down streams that I can only hope are headed in a good direction. And there is something pretty to that sensation too. Like watching the sky move around me as I lazily float down the nile on a felucca. Every once in awhile, it is just perfect to submit to the fact that you aren't in control, and that no one expects you to be. Though, I find that it helps to look up and not to think about rocks and waterfalls.

I know that at least a few of you are going over waterfalls right now, or have in the past. When I was a kid, and still today, I would find the confidence to jump off of the tops of waterfalls or cliffs into ponds after I had seen a few other equally qualified people do it. Until then, it was hard for me to imagine that it was possible to summon the courage. Thank you to those who have been an inspiration.