The Letters on the Wall
Section I: Episode 30
March 12, 2015
On the wall of Physician Jeers' examination room hung a scroll of calligraphy, bearing a poem much older than itself, originally written by a forgotten mate in an unknown era. The letters were absolutely beautiful, painted in rich red ink that must have been decades old. As there was nothing better to do, he read the poem those letters revealed:
The Healer's Contemplation
Life is hard
When you are young,
When you are old,
When you are stupid,
Lost in the daylight;
When you are smart,
Overlooking all woes.
But life is hardest
When you are sick
And your body is
Galavar pointed out the poem to Miatysacis, who had been reading a book on the anatomy of the heart from Jeers' shelf.
"What do you think?" he asked.
She took a moment to read it, then said "It seems like pro-physician propaganda."
"That's a bit cynical."
"Oh, I agree with it. I can't think of anything else when I'm sick except how sick I am."
"But it's hanging in a healer's examination room. Clearly propaganda."
Physician Jeers, who had been writing notes at his desk across the room, lifted his head in their direction.
"You have a rather formal sense of 'propaganda,' Master Miatysacis," he said.
"But it's true, isn't it?"
"In the way you mean it, yes."
"Why did you hang it up there?"
"I like the lettering."
She gave him a puzzled look.
"One's profession predisposes them to certain things, of course—like medically-themed poetry for instance. But one can appreciate those things for completely different reasons. No?"
"Well met!" she said.
Jeers chuckled and returned to his work. Miatysacis looked down at her book, impatiently thumbing through a few pages, not really reading it, then looked over at Galavar.
But instead of answering him, she looked back at Jeers. "Can we take Boon up to the heliometry classroom?"
"If you keep a close eye on him, I don't see why not. Just bring him back down here if his condition changes. Take his pulse regularly. If the heart beats too slowly—"
"We'll bring him to you right away."
"Then you are free to go."
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!