Journey On!

Get a good day job…one that puts your boat out in the river of life.

                                                                         Abraham Verghese

What I found in the Washington Post article by physician and writer Abraham Verghese (“The doctor as a patient writer,” 12/11/2011) was more than just advice to writers.  It served me as inspiration for a poem reflecting on my choice of nursing as a career and as a theme for a recent workshop with medical students who write about their work and their lives.

I offered the students a few prompts to stimulate their reflections and our discussion:

•    Sure, I’ll tell you something about my boat. The first thing that comes to mind is…

•    So far, for me, the river of life has been…

•    If I had to choose someone to guide me down this river (living, dead, imagined or mythical), it would be…

“So I write about life,” Verghese concludes.  “I plunge into the river every morning, let the current take hold. It is not the same river you stepped into yesterday.  Thank God for that.”  I, too, thank God for the work I’ve been given to do—and the sturdy craft that carries me.