The Mirror Called Covid-19

As much as the title of this article might suggest, the purpose of this article is not to blah, blah, blah about Covid-19; for it is a subject that we’ve come to know far too well. According to the Law of Attraction, that to which we give our focus–whether favorable or unfavorable–expands. In other words, what we resist persists. If you doubt this to be true, please try–now–to not think of a pink elephant and see if that dang elephant doesn’t occupy your mind in the same way that you find yourself humming a tune that has hijacked your attention.

The purpose of this article is to draw our attention to issues which the mirror is reflecting–both personally and collectively–in the human race. Time spent in a forced lockdown has provided all of us an opportunity to take a long look at ourselves, our values, relationships, big business, and governments of the world. Perhaps this is the good side of an ugly situation; for as long as the dark side of human nature remains hidden we can’t change it; nor do we learn lessons that we need to learn.

The following are a few questions that may have surfaced during the current world story:

  • Did you initially ignore the story of Covid-19 when it was apparently limited to a distant country? Did it only gain relevance when it threatened to affect “you?”
  • Has the world story caused you to contemplate the mortality of your body? Do you believe that “you” end with the death of the body?
  • What freedoms do you cherish? Would you like to have them again?
  • Did the story of the virus cause you to question your priorities–to ask what is truly important in life? If so, is it a thing–such as a car or a house? Or is it something intangible, such as love and freedom?
  • Have frienships and familial relationships changed or been forfeited due to what is happening? Have you contemplated what it might be like for someone living alone through this current world story?
  • Have you questioned the validity of media coverage regarding Covid-19 and so much more? Is the media deserving of your trust?
  • Secretly, have you been happy that groups of people are having the courage to speak out in favour of freedoms and rights that you once cherished? Are you that courageous?
  • Do you really want to wear a mask? If so, for how long? Do you decide or does someone else? Do you really believe that wearing a mask is doing any good? If not, then why do we wear them?
  • Do you believe a one-way arrow in a grocery aisle truly helps?
  • “Who” is going to declare that it’s safe to go outside?
  • At some point during the story of Covid-19, were you forbidden to visit a loved one who was in a hospital or nursing home. When you thought of your relative being alone, did you weep for them? Get angry?
  • Have you heard that mental health issues and suicide rates are increasing due to the story?
  • If you have children, do you really want them to be forced to wear masks at school?
  • Are you really willing to be locked in your home–from dictatorial forces “outside” of it?” If so, is your house still a home…or a cage?
  • Have you taken the time to write a letter of inquiry to your local, Provinical/State or Federal government?
  • Did you go for a swab test even though you were feeling fine? If so, were you relieved to discover the results were negative? Did you soon begin to worry whether you might catch the virus the following week? Have you ever wondered why you bothered to get tested?

Your answers to these questions may reveal a side of yourself that you’ve never looked at before. There is the mirror I’m referring to in the title.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. Thanks for reading!

What Type of World?

Human beings learn by contrast and opposites. We know hot by learning cold; right by learning left; up by learning down. This applies to everything we learn. The story of Covid-19 has provided a ton of lessons; not the least of which is how not to be. It’s given us a long look at the ugly side of human nature; as proven by fear mongering and corruption by big business and government; and the weak side, too, as evidenced by the majority of persons who hope that someone else will speak up and defend our precious freedoms while we sit comfortably on couches, staring at the news, the latest count, and praying that someone somewhere deems it safe for us to take off the masks that hide our humanity. Brave heart? Not even close. According to stereotype, spiritual beings are supposed to calm, meek, and mild–what utter nonsense! Bring on the spiritual fire.

So, the title of this article: What type of world? Through Covid-19, we’ve learned–via the contrast mentioned above–a few lessons about a side of human beings that we might prefer to leave in the dark. We’ve seen that we are willing to play the role of good little followers even when every neuron of our intellect was firing repeated warnings about what was being spread via the media. We’ve sacrificed our innermost feelings about important issues–such as ensuring health care for persons with real health issues; deprived ourselves of visits with family and friends who were feeling lonely and isolated; and forfeited healthful activitities in an effort to help. For what? The story, itself, is not even in question; for deep down we realize it is a disgusting farce that has been played on the masses. Everyone knows this. Symptoms, in 99% of the cases, are very mild and reported as such! Our intuition has been screaming the truth at us since the first months of subjugation–the six-foot rule, social bubbles, plexiglass walls, the masks, and threats of manditory vaccination. But we–the Beings who comprise the world–don’t want to ruffle any feathers. No, that wouldn’t be polite; and if we disagreed–or worse yet, walked the wrong way up a one-way aisle–it might draw attention. Instead, a part of us that we don’t like to face, watches gleefully from the sidelines as our brothers and sisters fight for the rights that used to be ours.

As much as it might seem so, the point of this article is not to be negative. The point is to raise questions about what type of world we are creating. Is it free? Is it respectful of persons’ rights? (including the right to wear or not wear masks). Does it help the downtrodden, the lonely, and the weak? Is it a world in which we teach our children–by example–that we have strong immune systems and also recognize their need to play with their friends in person; not virtually, through the screen of a computer. Is it a world in which we’re free to say “no” to the overuse of alcholol sanitizer, which has been proven to decrease immunity? Or is the world we’re trying to save one in which we behave like good little sheep, praying that the wolf won’t come and eat us. You know, the type of world in which couples say, “Now, Dear, when it comes to the vacinne, please don’t be the first to take it. Let health professionals test it on a few thousand others, to see if they go blind or grow a third eye.” We might ask ourselves if the second type of world–one devoid of love, touch, comraderie, and honest caring–would really be worth saving. If that’s the case, I vote “No”–as long as I still have a right to vote.

Is there something positive that can be reaped from all of this? Yes. When we recognize our weaknesses, we can begin to transcend them. With that intention, I offer a few inspirational lines from The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard, a modern-day mystic who lectured and wrote books in the 60’s and 70’s: “You give beauty for ashes when you concentrate your attention on things as you would like them to be rather than on things as they are. You give joy for mourning when you maintain a joyous attitude regardless of unfavourable circumstances. You give praise for the spirit of heaviness when you maintain a confident attitude instead of succumbing to despondency.” Perhaps the key to coping with the current world situation is to notice what is happening and unite with one another in honest positive action. Hiding our shame beneath masks isn’t working.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. Thanks for reading!

“Fooled by Your Name”

Fooled by Your Name

The title of this article is borrowed from a line in The Book by Alan Watts, who was a noted British writer and speaker on Buddhism, Taoism, and theology. The subtitle of his book is entitled On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. What, though, does this mean? Be forewarned: The answer will not be remotely interesting for those who are content with living a lie.

The point that Alan Watts so eloquently expressed is this: Deep beneath the ordinary world of name and form (the world in which we refer to things by words) there lies the most mysterious of mysteries. It is beyond the mind; therefore, beyond comparison because it is singular. How, logically, can One be compared to anything? Of course, it can’t be. The key that unlocks the door to this dimension can be summed up in one word: Stillness. When we turn away from sense objects and become still (through the practice of meditation), we “re-cognze” (to see again) the very nature of our Being. We discover that we are not our thoughts; nor are we our sensations, feelings, or perceptions. All of these, however, are known by the real You–Awareness.

Even a little investigation can yield tremendous insights. Think: For objects to be known, they must be known by something. How else could they be known? In our case, our true Self is not a thing in the common sense of the word; nevertheless, it is present. Wherever we are, Consciousness is. We cannot think “I do not exist” for the very thought is ludicrous because it requires Consciousness to think it. Our true Self is That which registers impressions from an apparently external world. It is also Consciousness which registers the name and form which we erronesouly believed to be our personal identity.

Why, though, should we care? Especially when life seems to be ticking along just fine. For that very reason: The clock of our body’s life span is ticking; but we need not wait for the “alarm” called death of the body to discover our true nature. A multitude of benefits may be realized now, not the least of which is that we are immortal Beings; therefore, beyond death. Our true Self is also beyond human drama;  therefore, immune to suffering and fear. Nothing–no event, circumstance, or situation–can harm it. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare summarized this truth succinctly through the following words: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” The true You is That Sweetnessnot the name and form through which It is expressed.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Phuphuey Makes a Housecall

Dr. Phuphuey Makes a Housecall

Note: The names of the persons directly involved in the following account have been changed to protect their right to privacy, as guaranteed (okay, maybe not “guaranteed,” but “implied”) under the Medical Privacy Act of 1923, as first instituted quid pro quo somewhere in Liechtenstein; amended in 1927, somewhere in the Nether Parts; and later modified (see attached pamplet explaining “said” modifications) somewhere over the rainbow.

***

Nurse Whatsthebigfuss knocked softly on the door to Dr. Phuphuey’s office and gently nudged it open. He was seated behind his desk, surround by a dense cloud of smoke. “What’s up?” he asked.

“It’s about Mr. Allbutgone. His wife just called; she was frantic. It seems he’s close to…hmmm.”

“To what?” asked Dr. Phuphuey. “Spill the proverbial beans.

“Ending it.” Her soft eyes showed genuine concern.

“You mean finding another doctor? Can’t say that I’d blame him. You and I both know I’m highly incompetent. Last in the class–our little secret, right?”

“No, not that,” she said; “although I agree you’re incompetent.”

“A spade a spade,” Dr. Phuphuey said, shrugging. “What then?”

“His wife thinks he’s going to commit suicide. He hasn’t left the house in months.”

A grave expression came over Dr. Phuphuey’s face, and he ground out his cigarette in the pedestal ashtray at the end of his desk. “What can we do?”

“I don’t know,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss. “His wife has tried to arrange for him to see someone, but he’s afraid of going to hospital for fear of catching something.”

Dr. Phuphuey had heard similar concerns from his colleagues; and the ones who had attempted to repute the validity of the current world story had been threatened with loss of their licence to practice. Any dissenting content was routinely deleted from social media (to see an incident of that, press here). A figurative lightbulb became luminous above Dr. Phuphuey’s head. “Cancel the rest of the appointments,” he said authoritatively as he stood. “I’m paying Mr. Allbutgone a visit. Give me his address”

Half an hour later, Dr. Phuphuey was rapping softly on the front door of the Allbutgone’s residence. His wife, looking worn beyond words, greeted him. “Thank you, Doctor,” she said. “I’m Helen.” She led him into the entrance and then pointed to the livingroom. There on couch, with his two children on either side of him, was Mr. Allbutgone. He was gaunt, pale, and visibly shaking–staring at a seventy-five inch T.V. on the opposite wall. Despite being in their own home, all three were were wearing masks.

“He’s barely left that position in the last three months,” said Helen. “Ever since we were forced to shut down our business.”

“Can you sneak the children into another room?” Dr. Phuphuey whispered.

“I can try,” Helen said. “C’mon, kids,” she said, entering the livingroom, “let’s go read a book and give your father a little time alone.” The children responded and followed their mother to another part of the house.

“John…” Dr. Phuphuey said softly as he stepped into the living room. “It’s Dr. Phuphuey. You can call me Phil.”

John turned toward him. His eyes were hollow; bare orbits devoid of life or spark.

“Can I turn off the TV, so that we can hear each other?”

John rallied, as though defending the rights of a dear friend. “I’d prefer that you didn’t,” he said. “I HAVE TO KNOW what’s going on–to know when it’s safe again.” His shrunken chest wracked as a stifled sob pulsed through him.

“At least turn it down, so we can chat?”

John nodded, and Dr. Phuphuey gently turned the volume all but off. He sat on the end of the couch and looked John in the eyes. “I’d like to help,” he said.

“I don’t know…how…you can,” said John. His lips were quivering, and his hand was nervously brushing his forehead. “The world has gone to hell, and I don’t know what to do. They tell me there’s this bug…and now there’s riots…and masks, and I can’t even visit my friends anymore, or my parents in the nursing home. My business–of twenty-two years–was a great success until they forced me to close my doors.”

“Who is they?” asked Dr. Phuphuey.

“You know,” said John, pointing to the T.V.–“them.”

Dr. Phuphuey nodded solemnly. “Yes,” he said, “they tell us all sorts of stuff; but at some point, maybe we have to question what they are telling us.”

“How?” asked John, his gaunt face reflecting perplexity. “How…when it’s the facts–they report.”

“Is it always the truth that they’re reporting?”

“Yes, it is! I’ve trusted them to tell me about life since I was a young boy.”

“Dr. Phuphuey’s eyes brimmed with compassion. “Yes,” he said. “A lot of people do; but maybe that’s not the case. Let me ask you this, John: If one of your dear friends was threatening to harm himself with a knife, what would you want to do to help protect him?”

John lowered his head, lost in deep thought. “Well, he said softly, “I know that I’d try to take the knife away from him; and hide any other sharp objects. Till he could get better.”

“Makes perfect sense,” said Dr. Phuphuey. “Now,” he said, pointing at the T.V., we might think of that as the knife. Think….just for a moment….and ask yourself what good news it has told you during the last years. Any?”

John was silent, but Dr. Phuphuey could tell that a covert search of memory was occuring. “No…come to think of it,” said John. He seemed surprised. “That’s true.”

With gentle coaxing over the next hour, Dr. Phuphuey was able to reach beyond the veneer of humanhood and touch John’s soul. He spoke lovingly and compassionately, attempting to help lift his spiritual brother. When John was finally resting in the bedroom, Dr. Phuphuey asked Helen if he could remove the offending knife from the wall. She readily agreed, and even helped him take it out to his car. After hugging Helen, Dr. Phuphuey shoved the T.V. into the back of his station wagaon, and got behind the wheel. He was shaking; too upset to smoke. He knew he had one more stop to make before returning to the office.

At the dump, Dr. Phuphuey unloaded the television and slid it into a metal container. He was about to turn, when he noticed a mother bear with a cub at the perimeter. The mother was tending to the little one. Funny, thought Dr. Phuphuey, not a mask in sight. Before starting his car, he said a silent prayer that the mother bear wouldn’t find a way of turning on the T.V.

***

Dear Readers: Please allow the spirit of kindness contained within this article to enter your hearts. We’ll get through this together; in spite of forces that are attempting to tell us the human race is doomed. N O T H I N G can deprive us of the love that we are intended to express. An hour spent helping our neighbours, as oppossed to staring at the knife attempting to cut us, will elevate our world.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. Thanks for reading!

Snakes and Ladders

When I was a young child, one of the games I used to enjoy playing was a board game called Snakes and Ladders. It’s actually still available to this day. It consists of a board with horizontal squares numbered 1 to 100; beginning in the bottom left corner. The objective of the game is very simple: A player wins by being the first to land his/her gamepiece at the square marked 100. Players take turns rolling a die and advance their gamepiece accordingly. If players land on a ladder, they can scoot upward; conversely, if they land on a snake they must slither downward. So, what’s the point?

What I didn’t realize until recently is that this simple game is based on an ancient board game from India called Moksha Patam. Moksha, for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, means to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This occurs through enlightenment; a term which refers to the recognition of True Self (which is Spirit) and, thus, the falsity of the conceptual person. The game was originally intended to help teach basic lessons regarding morality and how to better live with one another. The ladder represents our noble qualities–such as love, compassion, kindness, generosity, and empathy. The snake represents our ignoble instincts–such as lust, greed, anger, selfishness, and hatred.

On a human–grown up–level, we can still learn many valuable lessons through analogy of our life and the game of Snakes and Ladders. It reminds us to be aware, especially with regard to our thoughts, speech, and actions; for these are building our character and, thus, creating our destiny. If we allow our life to be driven by our little egoic “i,” we are certain to lose; for a self-centered cannot help anyone win. Such will be a shallow life, to say the least; one lacking the depth and richness that ultimately makes life worth living. To truly win, we are wise to apply ourselves to helping others climb their way to success. In effect we, thereby, become the ladder for their ascension and let our life stand humbly in the background. Sweet idea, isn’t it? Even better lived.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. Thanks for reading!

Remember When?

Remember When

This blog has taken a few twists and turns during the last four years. For almost two years, I published articles regarding the workings of the Law of Attraction. I hoped to inspire people to reach for their dreams; to share knowledge that could help them achieve their goals. I then gave the blog a rest, until Covid became the shameful and overwhelming story of the world. In response, I published an article on March 18th entitled We The Courageous (press here) in an attempt to offer support and help people dig down deep and face their fears about what was being reported.

Since that time, I’ve used various techniques–including articles regarding our true nature, the satirical antics of Dr. Phuphuey, and even a link to a recent peaceful protest in Trafalgar Square–that I hoped would help bring a degree of sanity to what appears to be collective insanity. Think of it: Did you ever believe that we would see a time when masks, physical distancing, and talk of social bubbles would be imposed upon the human race? And oddest of all, it doesn’t seem to make one whit of difference that the Corona Worldometer (as of today) continues to report that 99% of the cases present with mild symptoms. Nor does it make any difference when we hear of opposing opinions from respected doctors and experts in the field of immunology being silenced. Are we searching for a guarantee against death of the body? If so, we had better keep on looking.

The following is only my opinion, but it relates an example of one of the real victims of the human response to the story of “Covid.” The woman, “Dolores,” is eighty-four and lives in the retirement section of a nursing home. My friend, who provides footcare for the elderly, had visited this previously vibrant woman just prior to the implementation of restrictions in Canada in early March of this year. My friend, who recently treated Dolores for the first time in five months, told me that she noticed a significant decline; Dolores was both cognitively and physically slower. Yes, I admit, there is no proof that we can attribute all, or even part, of Dolore’s decline to being isolated from her family members. Dolores told my friend that there had been lots of phone calls; but, of course, visitations and shows of affections such as hugs and kisses from family members, had been deemed meaningless and prohibited by those who would save us. We, of course, are concerned with saving ourselves; that’s why we stand six-feet apart and don the pitiful masks that hide our humanity…even when our hearts are screaming that something smells about this whole thing.

The good news is that any further decline in Dolores, and the thousands of isolated persons like her, will not be covered by any media coverage; therefore, we won’t have to witness it. Nor will we know the accounts of thousands, if not millions, who have lost previously flourishing businesses. These silent but atrocious occurrences don’t make headlines; and they never will. It is up to us–the relatives and caring friends–to stand up for the current inhumanity that is sweeping the world. If we don’t, only egos will survive; and they aren’t worth saving. Remember when?

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

Dr. Phuphuey’s Reverie

Dr. Phuphuey's Reverie

Note: The names of the persons directly involved in the following account have been changed to protect their right to privacy, as guaranteed (okay, maybe not “guaranteed,” but “implied”) under the Medical Privacy Act of 1923, as first instituted quid pro quo somewhere in Liechtenstein; amended in 1927, somewhere in the Nether Parts; and later modified (see attached pamplet explaining “said” modifications) somewhere over the rainbow.

***

“Ahhh, finished for the day,” thought Nurse Whatsthebigfuss as she watched the last patient leave. It had been a hectic day at the office; made all the more challenging by the recent protocols. She had a question to ask Dr. Phuphuey; but as she neared his office, she heard the familiar sound of his snoring. It built like a locomotive straining hard to climb a peak, and then–summit reached–clattered down the rails, coasted to a stop, and then began it’s accent again. Poor man; he worked so hard. She peeked into his office and saw that he was slumped back in his chair, long legs extended straight, with a Darkness is Sexy sleep mask covering his eyes. In his arms, he was loosely clutching his Teddy Bear, Snafu. She blew him a kiss, turned off the lights, and gently closed the door.

Unbeknownst to Nurse Whatsthebigfuss, Dr. Phuphuey’s eyelids soon began to flutter, indicating rapid eye movement. He was dreaming–not the waking dream that the majority of persons erroneously mistake for Reality; but dreamstate dreams. Behind his eyelids, Dr. Phuphuey was positively thrilled. He’d been granted a question and answer period with God, the Highest of the High.

“You’re looking good,” said God, in a voiceless voice that was both comforting and familiar.

“Thanks,” said Dr. Phuphuey, with a nonchalant toss of his hand in the air. “I do try. Mind if I smoke?”

“I’m neither for nor against,” said God. “Now, let’s get on with the questions. I have a golf game coming up. Aiming for a Whole in One. Get it? Hehe.”

“Can’t say that I dooo, said Dr. Phuphuey, “but…no matter.” He tapped a cigarette out of the package, lit it, then drew deeply. “Ahh,” he said, “now…I’ve been wondering why you’ve struck us with this virus thing. It’s got a lot of people quite bothered. Lives are in shambles.”

“I didn’t,” said God.

“But it’s here,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “and I dare say that’s it’s causing a lot of trouble.”

“Not my doing,” said God. ”

“So it just happened? By chance?”

“Of course, not,” said God. “There is no chance. Haven’t you noticed that there’s a certain regularity to the Universe? An ebb and a flow? The whole play of life is governed by spiritual laws.”

Dr. Phuphuey tapped some ash into his cupped hand. “You mean like the seasons–stuff like that? Fall following summer; spring following winter? A corn seed turns into a corn plant.”

“Yes, that stuff,” said God. “I set your original dream environment in motion, and then you–good human beings that you are (being made from Me)–get to live your apparently personal dream within my dream. Simple, really; only the bulk of you don’t realize that through your thoughts imbued with feelings, you either bless or curse yourselves. If you think positively, I weave you a wonderful life through the power of Maya, meaning illusion. If you focus upon fear, however, you collectively create a living hell. The media and whatever other supposed big shots have got you wound up like a top. The situation won’t stop spinning until you remove your focus from it.”

“I knew that!” exclaimed Dr. Phuphuey.

“Are you certain of that?” said God. There was a subtle tone of doubt from the Omniscient Voice.

“Well,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “let’s just say that I was this (pinching thumb to index finger) close.”

“It’s okay,” said God. “Liars don’t go to hell. There is no hell, except on Earth when the human race attempts to run the show through your collective egoes. That’s the true devil, you know. There is no opposite to Me, as many proclaim; for I Am Life itself–the Alpha and the Omega. Your lives would improve dramatically if you learned how to truly live in the trancendent beauty of the moment; instead of the torture of your minds.”

“Would you mind writing that down?” asked Dr. Phuphuey. “I’d like to remember that–perhaps share it with some of my colleagues and patients.”

“Consider it done,” said God. “When you awaken, it’ll be in your email folder under ‘The Way Life Works.’ Anything else you’d like to ask?”

Dr. Phuphuey ground his cigarette out with his heel. “Well, I wondering when this current situation is going to get better.”

“It can happen very soon,” replied God, “but there’s one thing that has to occur before the situation will improve.”

“What?” said Dr. Phuphuey. “I’d like to help.”

“Humankind–collectively–has got to stop relying on human knowledge (with its solution of masks and sanitizer) and turn toward Me, the One who heals your cuts and beats your hearts. None of you do that–nor can you. I do.”

An abrupt snort escaped Dr. Phuphuey’s mouth, and he wakened to find himself lying back in his chair in his darkened office. His Teddy, Snafu, was lying across his abdomen. “Well, Snaffy,” he said, “time to get some grub?” With a little help from Dr. Phuphuey, Snafu turned to face him and gave him a high five. Before leaving, however, an intuitive feeling caused Dr. Phuphuey to turn on his computer. In his email, he found a message with a subject heading entitled “The Way Life Works.” The return address was marked “Everywhere.”

***

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

Dr. Phuphuey’s Wisdom Lesson

Dr. Phuphuey's Wise Counsel

Note: The names of the persons directly involved in the following account have been changed to protect their right to privacy, as guaranteed (okay, maybe not “guaranteed,” but “implied”) under the Medical Privacy Act of 1923, as first instituted quid pro quo somewhere in Liechtenstein; amended in 1927, somewhere in the Nether Parts; and later modified (see attached pamplet explaining “said” modifications) somewhere over the rainbow.

***

Nurse Whatsthebigfuss knocked gently on Dr. Phuphuey’s door and poked her head inside. Dr. Phuphuey was doubled forward in his chair, head toward his feet. She heard him gleefully say, “and this little piggy cried wee wee all the way home.”

“Ahem,” she said, “sorry to interrupt you, Dr. Phuphuey.”

Dr. Phuphuey straightened and spun around in his chair. He was holding nail clippers. “It’s all good,” he said, as he flopped his right leg onto the desk, “I was just giving these little pigglies a little tune up.” With that, he then wiggled his toes as though saying “What can I do you for?”

“A raise would be nice,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss.

“No can dooo,” replied his wiggly toes. “Perhaps when the world is back to normal. Now, seriously.”

“I Just wanted to give you a little headsup about your next patient. It’s Mrs. Verydistraught–she’s quite upset. She’s a retired nurse. I think she’s going to require a longer visit.”

“Well, I trust your judgement,” Nurse Whatsthebigfuss. “Send her in.”

Two minutes later, Mrs. Verydistraught was seated in the chair across from Dr. Phuphuey. What he could see of her face looked flushed; her hair a mess. “Please take your mask off,” said Dr. Phuphuey.”

“But won’t you get in trouble with the medical board?” she said, as she raised a hand to do so. “I’ve heard of doctors who disagree with what’s going on being threatened with losing their licence.”

“Fufuey, the rules,” exclaimed Dr. Phuphuey. “It might matter if I was a real doctor, but I’m not. I’m just a figment of some writer’s imagination, so I can say what I want. So, my office, my rules.”

Mrs. Verydistraught set the mask in her lap and nervously brushed her hair with her hand. “I’ve been so upset lately,” she said. “I feel like I’m at the end of my rope.”

“Cigarette?” asked Dr. Phuphuey, extending the pack.

“No, but, thank you.”

Dr. Phuphuey lit his cigarette, drew deeply, and then opened the drawer to his right. Licorice?”

“No, thank you, though.”

A moment later: “Jelly beans?”

“Uh uh, but thanks.”

From the left drawer: “Jub jubs?”

A scowl–barely contained–was hinting to boil over on Mrs. Verydistraught’s face. “No…thank you.”

“Lollipop? Gummy Bears? Chocolate bar?”

“Can I just tell you my f#$%ing story!” she exclaimed.

“Ohh, sorry,” said Dr. Phuphuey, flinching, “just trying to sweeten up your life a little. What’s up?”

Mrs. Verydistraught settled in her chair, then began.”It’s this!” she said stabbing the mask into the air. “I can’t stand the damn thing, and I don’t want to wear the damn thing, and there’s no science to support that the damn thing is needed or helping anyone.”

Cigarette clenched firmly between his lips, Dr. Phuphuey sprang to his feet and applauded. Loud. “Hear, hear!” he exclaimed. “You’ve got my vote!”

Mrs. Verydistraught smiled, perhaps for the first time in weeks. “I’m not trying to be difficult, or uncaring.”

“I know,” said Dr. Phuphuey. “I’ve always known you to be a caring soul. You’d probably just like to have some rights–not to tell anyone else to do; but to have some say over your own body.”

“Yesss,” said Mrs. Verydistraught. “But I also care about others. Nurses I know who still work in the field tell me they’re being forced to tag any death as ‘virus,’‘ even when test results come back negative. This whole story smells.”

Dr. Phuphuey nodded. “I’m hearing the same reports from my colleagues.” He leaned forward. “May I call you Agnes?”

“Well, you can…but it’s not my name. It’s Yolanda.”

“Hmm,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “a bit of a goof. Close, though. May I share a wisdom story that might help?”

“Please do,” said Yolanda.

“Years ago, there was an ancient Chinese carpenter–14th century, I believe. Ohhh, how he loved to hammer, all day, every day. One day, he was swinging that big hammer of his and he whacked his thumb really bad. It swelled up to the size of watermellon.”

“What happened?” asked Yolanda.

“Well, the neighbouring people all came and said, ‘this is bad, this is bad.’ But he wisely said, ‘we will see, we will see.’ While his thumb was healing during the next two weeks, he made use of the opportunity to take up dancing, just for something to do. It turned out that he was a natural–pirouettes, the splits, that kind of stuff. He became so good that news spread of his dancing abilities.”

“Wonderful,” said Yolanda.

“Uh, huh,” said Dr. Phuphuey. “Well, one day, the king’s men visited and said the king was looking for a dancing carpenter who could build him a Grand Pagada. Of course, our man was a perfect fit for the job. The neighbors came again and this time said, ‘this is good, this is good.” The carpenter said, ‘we will see, we will see.”

“Amazing,” said Yolanda. “Was it a big pagoda?”

“Yes,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “a big pagoda.”

“How big was it?”

Really really big,” said Dr. Phuphuey with a roll of his eyes. “Anyhooo, one day he was working on the roof of the pagoda and fell onto some rocks. He broke both of his legs. When he was back home, the neighbors came to visit and said, ‘this is bad, this is bad.’ He, although in great agony, said, ‘we will see, we will see.'”

“And…” said Yolanda, leaning forward, “what happened?”

“As I recall, his legs healed quite nicely, and he became a stock trader–made a ton of yen! Of course, the neighbours all came by and said, ‘this is good, this is good.'”

“And the point is…?” asked Yolanda.

Dr. Phuphuey ground out his cigarette. “The point,” he said, “is that even though we pretend to know where life is heading, we don’t really know. The best thing we can do is stay positive. Who can say what is good or what is bad, because nothing lasts? If you can have the wisdom of our friend the carpenter slash dancer slash stock trader, we can all ride this virus story out to the end. Then another story will takes its place.”

“I see,” said Yolanda with a nod.

“Jub jub?” Dr. Phuphuey said, reaching into the drawer. “Nah,” said Yolanda, “but a chocolate bar might be nice.”

***

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

 

Dr. Phuphuey Plays Doctor

Dr. Phuphuey's Busy Day

Note: The names of the persons directly involved in the following account have been changed to protect their right to privacy, as guaranteed (okay, maybe not “guaranteed,” but “implied”) under the Medical Privacy Act of 1923, as first instituted quid pro quo somewhere in Liechtenstein; amended in 1927, somewhere in the Nether Parts; and later modified (see attached pamplet explaining “said” modifications) somewhere over the rainbow.

***

The waiting room was jam packed–elbows would definitely have touched if it were not for social outlawing. The atmosphere was deadly quiet, except for occasional coughs of adults and stabbing cries of children. In a chair in the far corner, a man about forty leaned slowly to one side, righted himself, and then nonchalantly fanned the newspaper he was holding. From out of nowhere, Nurse Whatsthebigfuss bustled into the center of the room.

“May I have your attention,” she said. “Dr. Phuphuey’s running a little behind schedule today; so we’re going to triple up in an effort to speed things along. Should work quite nicely, if everyone plays fair.”

There were nods, a few “hmmphs,” and one loud uncontrolled fart–followed by thirty stabs of accusing stares.

“Now,” said Nurse Whatsthebigfuss, fumbling with three charts, “Misters Hullaballoo, Aboutnothing, and Rinky…Dink, please follow me down the hall.” Two elderly gentlemen and a young man in his mid twenties rose and hesitantly followed. She led them to a small examination room with only one chair. “Perhaps you can play rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to sit,” she said.

The men were in the midst of determing the winner, when the door to the adjoining office burst open. It was Dr. Phuphuey. “Good afternoon, gentlemen,” he quipped. “Thank you for being so cooperative.”

“Ahem,” said Mr. Hullaballoo, averting his eyes. “Don’t you think you’ve forgot something?”

Dr. Phuphuey patted his chest, fumbled his hands into his labcoat pockets, and tugged at the stethoscope dangling around his neck. “Don’t think so,” he said. “Why do you ask?”

Young buck Rinkydink spoke: “‘Cause you’ve got no pants on.”

“Well, I doubt that,” said Dr. Phuphuey, staring straight ahead,” but the words were barely out of his mouth when his right hand–which had crawled downward as though by its own volition–patted “there” and confirmed the news. “Dang, if I’m not,” he said, with a guffaw. “A lesser man would be embarassed.” He dashed to the adjoining office and returned a minute later wearing baggy track pants. Mr. Rinkydink gave him a bold thumbs up.

“Mind if I smoke?” asked Dr. Phuphuey. He was flicking his lighter before they could answer. “Now,” he said, after a deep exhale, “to speed things along I’d like each of you to state your problem in three words or less. It will save us a lot of needless rambling on about details. We’ll cut straight to the chase. You first, Mr. Hullaballoo.”

“Headaches,” said Mr. Hullaballoo.

“Stress,” said Mr. Aboutnothing.

There was a sustained pause, accompanied by a drumming of fingers by Dr. Phuphuey. “And what about you, Mr. Wrinklydick?” he asked.

“That’s Rinkydink, if you don’t mind.”

“My apologies. So…spill the beans.”

“Depression.”

Dr. Phuphuey thoughtfully stroked his chin. “I’m sensing a common thread. Do any of you watch the news?”

The three patients answered at once, their heads bobbing. The room was filled with their replies: “Most certainly;” “Morning, noon, and, night;” and “Ohh, yes, it’s my duty.”

“What we have here,” said Dr. Phuphuey, “is a case of Laughter Shortiticus. It’s characterized by signs and symptoms that we’re taking life far too seriously. When was the last time any of you laughed.”

Misters Rinkydink and Aboutnothing admitted that it had been months–the beginning of the year. “What about you, Mr. Hullabaloo?”

His eyes looked upward, as though searching for the memory. “August 12th, 1979,” he finally said.”

Dr. Phuphuey began to scribble furiously on his prescription pad, and then tore off the note and handed it to Mr. Rinkydink. “Take this to Nurse Whatsthebigfuss and have her make it out in triplicate. Follow these instructions three times a day, and check back with me in a month. I’ll make sure I’m wearing pants.

***

On the serious side, it’s a well-known fact that positive emotions play a very important part in keeping us well. The same holds true for hugs, kisses, and touch–all of which we’ve been deprived of during the last several months. Disease is often related to stress which reveals itself as a broken link in our chain of body, mind, and spirit. May this article help to alleviate some stress–even if only for a few minutes. God bless.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020–R. Arthur Russell

The Corona List of Ten

thumbnail_IMG_20200414_160910_edit (2)

The situation regarding the corona virus is evolving daily, with media coverage of new cases, accounts of shortages in grocery stores, and ample footage of people wearing masks and gloves. Social distancing is the norm. There is talk of potential vaccines, talk of how to manage our career from home, and talk of conspiracy theories with various motives. The subject has talked many of us to a point of mental numbness, as evidenced by our blank stares. Amidst all of the news there has been one major upshot: Our forced hibernation has provided an opportunity for our hearts to open. We’ve been given time to contemplate how we’ve been living, and to ask ourselves what holds real importance. The following list may reflect some–or all–of our conclusions:

  1. Love.
  2. Refer to number 1.
  3. Refer to number 1.
  4. Refer to number 1.
  5. Refer to number 1.
  6. Refer to number 1.
  7. Refer to number 1.
  8. Refer to number 1.
  9. Refer to number 1.
  10. Refer to number 1.

The love within our heart exists for good reason. Now may be the best time to become more aware and question whether we are expressing it with family, friends, colleagues, and, yes–even the man or woman standing six-feet away–in the best possible way.

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell