I saw a bug while I was treating a patient the other day. I still can’t stop thinking about him.
She was pretty, so let’s call her a lady.
She was very small and roundish and was a delightful mix of shiny blue hues. Being a total pussy, I normally get pretty freaked out by bugs. But this one was endearing. I found her crawling around my Taoist altar, and from her tiny little point of view she seemed to be enjoying the arresting view of the vast landscape of hardwood floor and majestic chairs that seemed to thrust confidently into the heavenly ceiling… so I let her have her fun.
She scampered towards the wall against which the altar was laying adjacently, then slowly made her way over to the center of the altar. And she just sat there for a second. A part of me wanted to believe that she felt the energy there and wanted to bask in the glorious golden light of healing and tranquility that I’ve spent several painstaking months cultivating; the very golden light that allows us to realize that we’re the manifestation of heaven and earth, and the eyes of the universe. The other part of me simply believed that she was just being a bug.
Maybe both are right.
But it any case, for a few moments, we stared at each other endearingly, or so I thought, then continued on our respective paths.
It was kinda nice. And I would be delighted to learn if she still thinks of me from time to time. Probably not.
I’m normally very protective of my space and of my patients. How bad would it look if a patient were to see random bugs all over my supposed-to-be-clean clinic? Pretty bad. Very bad for business. So normally, I would smack that bug into its next life, hoping its soul would shunt itself into a newborn human being (preferably with a rich family).
But this time around, this beautiful little bug reminded me of myself. Small, and wandering neither here nor there, possibly perpetually hungry and/or horny. I connected with her and saw myself in her, and I saw her in me. But before I turn this into a Kafka-esque rumination, it’s moments like these (and there are quite a few of them) when I’m reminded once again that everything has spirit – from bugs to floors to trees to doorknobs – and that everything is still on an ongoing process of evolving from the initial creation of the entire universe.
Plus, my patient didn’t even notice she was there, so I let her be her jolly, buggy self.
Now if it was a spider or a centipede, I’d be telling a slightly different story, man.