My Own Usefulness


Like a doctor, I learned to create
from another’s suffering my own usefulness, and once
you know how to do this, you can never refuse.
To every house you enter, you must offer
healing: a chocolate cake you baked yourself,
the blessing of your voice, your chaste touch.
~Julie Kasdorf from “What I Learned From My Mother”
When my clinical responsibilities top out at 14 hours a day and there is still more to do,  when I’m weary and grumbling about work load, I need reminding that my usefulness is completely dependent on others’ suffering.
No illness, no misery, no suffering and I’m out of a job.
If only. What bliss that would be.
If I’d known it could help you, I’d have baked a cake…

Definitely chocolate.