Art, For Arts Sake
So today I was in the OT- operation theater- where I was working on the lip of a patient using a laser when a colleague from another specialty wandered over to watch behind my shoulder. After a few minutes of close observation he told me “niceeee, you use the laser on the patients face like an artist uses a brush” before he went away. Although I didn’t show it then i really was pleased by his candid praise for one of the highest compliments you can get is from fellow practitioners and colleagues who actually know what they are seeing, know the difference between routine drudge work and high art and can understand how difficult it is to work on a moving canvas of soft flesh which is always wet and bleeding. That’s why I treasure praise from my colleagues more than from patients.
Another reason i felt happy was because I remembered someone telling me long ago, long, long ago, advising me that art will always tell and you cannot suppress creativity. When I was young I used to do a lot of amateur artistic stuff- draw, paint and even do caricatures and cartoons for the school magazine and other children’s magazines. I was good with my hands so I kind of ventured into heavy duty stuff as I grew up – I won competitions for carving- soap carving, candle carving and I even started making art work from stainless steel wires and rods using a soldering gun – my own little art installations. But the pressures of studying for a professional degree soon had another victim and I had to perforce give up all my artistic inclinations and concentrate on studying, passing exams and getting my degrees. Pretty soon I had reconciled myself with the thought that my childish pretensions of artistic talents were behind me and now that I am a responsible adult I should do nothing which doesn’t pay well.
That’s why I was surprised at my colleague’s comment- it seems that I have now found a way to make my suppressed artistic talents shine again. The creative juices are flowing again and this time they are actually earning for me. So now i believe that saying I told you about – art does find a way through, doesn’t it? However bizarre and unexpected the route may be – it still finds a way through the shell to grow and shine brightly. And because of that compliment I have been smiling all day.