Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pale Blue Circle

Sagan described the earth as a
pale blue dot.
"On it, everyone you love, everyone you know,
everyone you ever heard of,
every human being who ever was,
lived out their lives."

I feel that same wonder
when I hold a vial of insulin in my hand.
How it looks like water,
and how, like water, everything I am depends on it.

It's like I'm holding my heart outside myself,
careful not to squeeze it too hard
or hold it too warmly.
Without it, I'd have died in an emergency room.
a ten year old girl.

Everything I love,
Everything I know,
Everything I've experienced as I live out this borrowed time,
I owe to these droplets of science swirling in a bottle.

To Banting, to Best,
To starving children who reached for the first syringes
with faith and hope.

All so that I could stand here today,
marveling at this solution.

A century later, children still die without it
in places my privilege has not reached,
who aren’t alive to argue for access
and need a voice,
but more than that,
a vial.

In their obscurity, without that access,
They wait for a hint that help will come from elsewhere
while we stockpile for ourselves.

We are all part of a pale blue circle,
hopeful children
to be preserved and cherished.

In my hand,
I clutch a drug that cannot cure,
could certainly kill,
and cannot be trusted,
but an elixir that means
another day of life for me
and a day less for those without it.

With reverence and fear,
I marvel at its fragility
and tuck it safely away,
overwhelmed at the responsibility
and the random chance of the universe
that I hold it
and they don't.

Contribute your photo to the #insulin4all tumblr page.

No comments:

Post a Comment