Because…

Posted on Oct 1, 2011 in Life, the Universe, and Everything | Comments Off on Because…

So, I got a tattoo yesterday. I ummed and ahhed about posting this because tattoos are not necessarily something that are acceptable in a professional setting. What if my patients stumbled upon this blog and judged me for it? Or worse, my parents (they didn’t respond too well to my first tattoo – a tiny star on my ankle). But here it is. And my theory on this is that it is art – art created by the step father of one of my best friends. There’s something more special about having it created by someone you are in some way connected to. Also, as part of the job we learn personal and very private details about our patients. And while it would be unprofessional to share all the details of my personal life with my patients (or the internet in general), there’s something to be said for interacting the world with a more full-disclosure policy. I’m young, human, and I think tattoos can be beautiful.
It’s taken from a Beatles song – Because. If you’re having trouble reading it:
Because the world is round, it turns me on/
Because the wind is high, it blows my mind/
Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry.

If you couldn’t guess from the title of this blog, I’ve loved this song for a long time. I’m not sure exactly how the Beatles intended this song to be interpreted and I don’t particularly care. What it means to me is that we don’t necessarily need a lofty reason to be in awe of the world around us –  the nature of its existence is enough.
As I look out of my window to see a flat horizon, the notion that we are sitting on a giant sphere is a fantastic one. The wind is just the movement of air, completely invisible and yet with the potential to drive a boat forwards, power a wind turbine, or flatten a city. We all know the sky is blue, but we also know that the color itself is generated by the scattering of light by millions of tiny particles in the atmosphere. The things that we take for granted are complex and beautiful.

Believe it or not, it was Richard Dawkins who pushed me over the edge when I stumbled upon a video he made promoting his new book – The Magic of Reality – in which he says “The real world as understood scientifically has magic of its own, a spellbinding beauty which is all the more magical because it is real and because we can understand how it works. […] The magic of reality is […] quite simply wonderful; wonderful and real, wonderful because it’s real.”

Now I’m not an atheist, nor necessarily a Richard Dawkins fan (he is, however, a great scientist). But he is right. The magic of reality is quite simply wonderful.

The tattoo was done yesterday by the wonderful Bill Goldbach at Inka Dinka Doo Tattoo in Pittsburgh. He did an amazing job working with an unusual concept. I couldn’t be happier with it!

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