An internal sea of dynamic, immeasurable chaos resulting in the ultimate simplicity.
I wrote that about the human heart a long time ago. Today, I got the chance to see and hear the sea churning.
I went for an “echo with Doppler” test today at the Trail Hospital. It’s another of the “let’s check this and eliminate another thing” tests I’ve been undergoing since finding out my lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides and the like) are roughly equivalent to pure, dark, Swiss chocolate.
Though it sounds impressive, this test doesn’t involve a giant, rotating satellite dish. Instead, it’s a few electrodes, cold gel and an even colder transducer bouncing high-frequency sound waves around your innards. The echoes coming back are magically transformed into moving pictures (!) for a Genuine Smart Person to interpret.
Based on previous experience with electrocardiograms, spinal taps, stress tests, angiograms and sexual encounters, I was expecting something in the range of 10 minutes or so but I was horizontal for about four times that amount of time.
Laying on my side in an elegant, dignified, Roman-statue-esque sort of way, it was easy enough to steal the odd glance at the screen but something deep in my psyche wouldn’t allow me to look at it for very long. Sure, when the tech turned on the sound and the “fffwoooosh, fffwoooosh, fffwoooosh” sound of my circulating blood filled the room, it was hard to resist… but resist I did. Upon review, I think it was likely that I didn’t trust I wouldn’t say, “What’s THAT?” and “Is THAT normal?!” to the sonographer/ultrasound tech. While no one has ever directly accused me of being a hypochondriac, it’s a well-known fact amongst my family and friends there is no love lost between me and medical institutions.
It also occurs to me, being a visual sort of person, a pulsating grey group of heart muscles just isn’t appealing at 7:30 in the morning. But it was more than that. I felt like I was peering behind the curtain, snatching glimpses of my mortality in action. At 45-years-old, I sometimes feel the gravitational weight of time pressing hard and the questions that generates is equally unappealing, at any time.
Scientists estimate about 95 per cent of the universe is made up of matter so minute it’s detectable only by its effect on normal matter. I think it’s the same with the internal sea… most of it, of us, is on a journey far beyond what we can rationalize, much less control. Instead of trying to find answers in minutiae or build fourth-dimensional dykes, it may be better to just surf the waves.