Life Suture is about rediscovering connections and finding wholeness. In ourselves, our communities, and the world around us and in us.
Life Suture began to gestate when my more unorthodox and creative tendencies collided with my medical training. For a long time I’ve been straddling two worlds: the mechanistic and predictable world of science, and the more ephemeral and uncertain world of creativity. This site is an effort to sew these two worlds together, and in doing so to try to mend the disruption I feel is the source of many problems (health and otherwise), and ultimately to create a healthier ethos for all.
Here’s a link to my TEDx Aylesbury talk where I had the opportunity to sum up my thoughts on the intersection of medical science and art, matter and mind (in about 16 minutes!)
Life Suture: the longer narrative
As a medical student, I learned how to suture. There was an elegance and simplicity to the act of repairing a wound with needle and thread. It felt age-old, timeless. There was a flow to the movements, and an immense feeling of satisfaction in bringing the edges of skin or muscle together. It was one of the rare instances in my training and practice where I felt like I was directly and immediately helping the patient heal something that was injured. It felt more like art than science.
Since then, I’ve spent many years navigating the narrow corridors of contemporary medical care. As a doctor, and particularly as a specialist in autoimmune disease, I’m familiar with the biochemical labyrinth that is now the science of health care. In the time I’ve been in the field I’ve seen the trend. The trend is toward dissociation and fragmentation. An ever larger chasm is growing between the patient and the system, the patient and the doctor, the patient and their illness, the patient and their own body.
Stepping back, one can see that much of our experience of being in the world is now fragmented. It’s not just in medicine, this trend is visible everywhere and exaggerated by technological advances. Scientific dogma is advancing this relatively new belief system, encouraging us to define, to separate and differentiate. We no longer feel like part of a whole system, even within our own selves.
Now more than ever I feel the need to try to repair what seems to be disjointed and broken in our health care system and in our everyday lives. I’ve worked for nearly 20 years as a medical doctor and have seen our health care system at its best and its worst. At its best, especially in acute care, lives are saved. At its worst, usually in chronic care, disease is perpetuated and people become victims of their illness and even the treatment offered. It’s time that people begin to feel empowered to live and be healthier and balanced from within. To feel that our own will and desires have an influence on our physical selves, and the world around us. To know that our minds are not separate from our bodies, and indeed, we are not separate from our environment. It’s time for a change.
There is a word in Sanskrit that links these concepts: sutra. It literally means a thread that holds things together. It may have referred originally to the ancient Vedic texts that were sewn together with thread. Or it may refer to the function of the texts: that in repetition, the sutras were meant to join the person to the sacred meaning of the verses.
Life Suture’s mandate is to suture the essence of life back together again. First to identify the lacerations: where we have pulled apart our true nature. Then to explore ways to sew ourselves, our communities, and our planet back together again, one thread at a time.