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Because You Want to Do It Well

by Dr. Jeff Spiess
You only get to die once, so do it right!

Vacationing in Hiroshima

Vacationing in Hiroshima
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
The Hiroshima Carp play professional baseball at Mazda stadium (I recently learned from my brother-in-law that the Miata assembled there). Hiroshima is a bustling commercial and industrial city that happens to surround a park commemorating total devastation. I don’t know what else I thought I would to find. For me, and for most people, the names “Hiroshima” and “Nagasaki” meant only one thing – these are the only two places on earth where nuclear weapons were unleashed ... I have encountered few places where death and life are so starkly demarcated yet so vitally interconnected ... 

...but I could be wrong

...but I could be wrong
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
Everybody seems so sure. Politicians and pundits and preachers proclaim their righteous opinions and postulate the depravity and corruption of their opponents. Dogmas are spouted and anathemas announced with a vigor that would make Savonarola cringe. Is everybody so convinced they are right, or are they just trying to make points, to score victory in a power struggle? Whatever the motivation, whoever “wins”, the inevitable result is increased frustration, suffering, and desperation in all of us. After decades of working with the terminally ill, I believe they might have something to teach us about this.

Crying in Baseball

Crying in Baseball
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
My wife calls it happy face, sad face. It is the montage of televised images that immediately follows the final out of the World Series. The victors take the field, fist-bumping, embracing, donning the championship caps, the losers sit in their dugout, often alone, heads down, and, yes, sometimes crying. Their struggle through 162 regular season games and three playoff series in October has ended in defeat. They will not hoist a trophy or be the stars of a hometown parade. They have died, perhaps valiantly, but essentially ignominiously, and that is good cause for tears.

Your Navel, Your Humanity

by Dr. Jeff Spiess
You don’t remember it, but it happened; you were there, playing a starring role...The indisputable evidence is there in that wrinkled dimple in the middle of your abdomen.

The Smirk

The Smirk
by Dr. Jeff Spiess
I heard the chuckle dozens of times, saw the smirk over and over. The chuckle was one syllable long, a quick exhalation, between a “huh” and a cough. The smirk was a quick pull at one corner of the mouth, a slight near-wink of the eyelid on the same side, closer to a tic than an expression. They were simultaneous, took less than a second, but spoke volumes.