Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese
I wanted to finish the book first before blogging about it. But I can’t help it. Every sentence means so much I want to quote the entire Prologue.
This is a story of a Surgeon. The book basically highlights what a physician’s true calling is and all the miracles that happens in between. It’s a fictional story but reading it felt so real.
Here are the best lines that I loved so far…
“We come unbidden into this life, if we are lucky we find a purpose beyond starvation, misery, and early death which, lest we forget, is the common lot. I grew up and I found my purpose and it was to become a physician. My intent wasn’t to save the world as much as to heal myself. Few doctors will admit this, certainly not young ones, but subconciously, in entering the profession, we must believe that ministering to others will heal our woundedness. And it can. But it can also deepen the wound.”
“I was temperamentally better suited to a cognitive discipline, to an instropective field — internal medicine, or perhaps psychiatry. The sight of the operating theater made me sweat. The idea of holding a scalpel caused coils to form in my belly. Surgery was the most difficult thing I coud imagine.
So I became a surgeon.”
“But you don’t always know the answers before you operate. One operates in the now. Later, the retrospectoscope…will pronounce your decision right or wrong. Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward.”
“I venerate the sight of the abdomen or chest laid open. I’m ashamed of our human capacity to hurt and maim one another, to desecrate the body. Yet it allows me to see the cabalistic harmony of heart peeking out behind lung, of liver and spleen consulting each other under the dome of the diaphragm — these things leave me speechless…I do see the ordinary miracles under skin and rib and muscle, visions concealed from their owner. Is there a greater privilege on earth?”
“Fixing holes…is an apt metaphor for our profession. We are all fixing what is broken. It is a task of a lifetime. We’ll leave much unfinished for the next generation.”
“Only the telling can heal the rift that separates my brother and me. Yes, I have infinite faith in the craft of surgery, but no surgeon can heal the kind of wound that divides two brothers. Where silk and steel fail, story must succeed. To begin at the beginning…”
And that, dear readers, is just some quotables from the prologue. I’m excited to find out what more will I read in the next 600+ pages. (Will definitely blog about it too)
This book gives me some The Kite Runner feels but it speaks more personally because it is about my chosen profession. I’ve been praying for inspiration for weeks now and maybe this book is the answer.
I’d better continue reading for now.