It was a strange vantage point, lying flat on a hard bed staring at a white ceiling. There was really nothing else to do. I couldn’t recall the reason for being there, but I knew I’d caused a dreadful commotion. The buxom nurse in the blue uniform put me in the picture.
“You clawed like a rabid wild cat,” she embellished. “Poor Dr Plank. You marred his beautiful fizzog.”
“He must have deserved it,” I heard my mouth say. Remorse didn’t figure. “Wimp!”
“So we clipped your nails,” she added, “before you took his eyes out.”
“Yeah yeah; whatever.” I couldn’t be bothered to humour the silly woman. Hadn’t she got work to do?
I lay quietly bewildered, piecing together the fragments of yesterday. Or was it the day before yesterday? Was it even the same week? My eyes rested on the weird pattern on the wall facing me. I’d swear it was moving. Criss-crossed threads wriggling like a thousand centipedes, getting no-where fast. Like me!
This was a strange place to be. Was I abducted by aliens on my way home from work? But I don’t buy that trash. So what? What happened to me? I’m told I’m in hospital but see no patients, no beds, no windows. I hear no voices apart from Nurse Chubby Chops. She’s back.
I’m unhinged by a persistent, yet vaguely familiar sound. It took a while, but gradually registered. ‘Hummm… Sooo… Hummm… ‘
“Nurse,” I yell. “Where are they?”
“Be with you in a tick,” she says annoyingly. “I’m seeing to someone right now.”
“Who is it?” I persist. “There’s no-one here bar me.” ‘Hummm… Sooo… Hummm… ‘I’m freaked out. They’re to my right and to my left. “NURSE!”
I turn my head while my body remains flat. In the shadows I see the form of a young woman. She’s sitting cross legged on the floor. Next to her a tall man, with spine elongated, neck stretched and chin down; aligning the spine with the back of the head. Both had thumb and index finger lightly touching and wrists resting on knees, palm upward.
“Make them stop,” I appealed to plump nurse. “It’s the ‘Gesture of Knowledge.’”
“Really? And what is the gesture so knowledgeable about?” She didn’t look up.
“Listen. They’re chanting. It’s a mantra. A meditation mantra.” ‘Hummm… Sooo… Hummm… ‘
“Leave them be, so long as they’re not hurting anyone.” She busied herself with her imaginary ‘someone,’ and left me to wrestle with my head.
It came in a flash. ‘So’ - inhale. ‘Hum’ - exhale. The memory bank hurled it to the surface. ‘So’ = That or Thou or Divinity. ‘Hum’ = I Am.
“It’s harmless,” they’d told me. “Visualise life, light and divine energy flowing into you, connecting you with the universal consciousness; the music of life. By practicing this meditation, you’ll learn to dance in tune with it.”
“But what about Jesus?” I’d asked.
I screwed my eyes tightly to block them. But the ‘Hummm… Sooo… Hummm… continued unabated. Someone took my hand and gently squeezed. I didn’t dare look. Warm breath tickled my cheek as a whisper reminded,
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no-one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28 ESV)
The infamous Dr Plank interrupted my musings and misgivings with a sharp, “How are you feeling?” I recognised him by the freshly clawed scratches to his cheek.
“Did I really do that?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes. You did,” he snapped, but I saw the teasing twinkle in his eye.
“Why would I do that doctor?”
“You were delirious. You’ve contracted a serious viral infection that’s affected your lungs. Now we’re on the winning side, so trying you off the ventilator.”
“The breathing machine.”
“Really? Doctor, where am I? This is a whacky place to be. A hospital ward with no people.”
“ICU is full. This unit is always busy.” He called the nurse. ”Can we get the tiger in bed 5 sitting upright please?”
From my new lofty viewpoint, the world was a different place. I scanned the previously unseen footage and noted I was number five in a ten bedded unit. The others were out for the count and linked to a variety of drips, drains, tubes and bags. And of course the breathing machines; that purred without ceasing…
‘Sooo… Hummm… Sooo… Hummm… ‘
Fizzog – a slang word for face.
ICU – Intensive Care Unit.
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