Go On

Yes, we shall. (Designed by Melanie Burk)

Hospital rooms aren’t really made for the people that must live within them.

From the color of the walls to the composition of the beds, everything in the space is made for the doctors, nurses and orderlies that walk in and out of the room all day. Linens are not made to comfort, they are made to stand up to hundreds of washings. The TV mounted on the wall is too small to be watched by the patient in the bed, the pictures on it are squinted at rather than seen. And the chairs meant for the sick person’s family push them forward rather than holding them in place. The one that has fallen ill - the mother, father, sister, friend - is almost an afterthought. A thing to be got around after the hygiene and the bureaucratic checklists and the disease that has placed them in the room in the first place.

I hate hospital rooms.

I love a man that is lying in one right now.

Today, I’ve squintched myself between the wires and IVs. While the machines beep we watch Sherlock and pretend everything is really okay. I am struck by the inevitability of these moments within four walls that will be scrubbed of us before others come along. We will all be here at one point or another, the family in the chairs that push us away, the patient in the bed with sheets that scratch.

To make the place feel more like home, I brought in some of my dad’s favorite quotes. Designed by Melanie Burk, they are a little bit of the life we’ve led together splashed against walls the color of antiseptic. So often, our lives are only as big as the spaces that contain them. Today, my life is this room and those words on the wall.

This place may be inevitable but as I sit here, it doesn’t seem very different from all the other spaces I occupy. So much of living isn’t made for the living. More often than not it is inconvenient, uncomfortable and uncaring. Someday the walls of life will be scrubbed free of all of us. And yet, we fight. We live. We love. And in moments of darkness, we gather together against the uncertainty and call down words with meaning beyond the symbols that make them up so that we can feel beyond the place we have found ourselves.

And we sit and pray and look beyond the walls that hold us.

Uncomfortable chairs be damned.