Thursday, March 22, 2012

Third Time's a Charm

Greetings Brothers and Sisters!

Pat here, sending back a signal from the far edge of the universe... I hope this day finds you all well and in good spirits!

As you know, we had another false start Saturday when we got the call for a second shot at a donor liver... this time, as it turns out, I was ready, prepped, and literally on my way down to the O.R. when the doctor cancelled the whole production because they had found signs of cancer within the donor organ. Certainly better to miss the chance to say Pat got a liver on St. Patty's Day than to find later that we made the wrong choice! We were released back home and came back within 36 hours due to a pretty drastic downturn that had me in ICU until yesterday. I'm now in a private room and may be here to stay until we get that next chance. My liver has pretty much shut down (MELD is now 31) and my kidneys are starting go downhill a bit as well, so we really are praying and hoping for that miracle soon! To be sure, they actually said that they've never seen a patient with a MELD of 31 respond so well and look so good at this point in the process, which is great news.

This may seem like a frustrating setback for us, but I really feel that it's important today to let you all know what this means from my perspective. The thing to remind ourselves of now is that it's not all about the quick fix, the end result. It has to simply go a little deeper than that for us all at this point. I think that is the lesson to be learned here. Life now has taken on a very spiritual and mythological context that I never knew I was capable of, and I'm so thankful for that, and that my experience and learning may serve in giving others hope as well.

We can indeed find that true core of our humanity at this point when all ego, regret, past guilt and attachments to the illusion of this world are able to be stripped away and all that remains are ourselves and God in our purest form. In this moment, we find an inner strength and resolve that allows us to confront our death without fear, consequence, or hesitation.

So, the real miracle of learning happens for us not in the quick fix, instant gratification of simple solutions, but in the actual hero's
journey that we all must undertake in getting TO that point. To truly cross over that dark night of the soul and prepare ourselves for battle, we must purify our minds and souls, sincerely looking within and forgiving ourselves of past transgressions, so that we can meet our opponent face on with no distractions or trepidation. In this pure moment, we find that all suffering is merely an illusion, because our physical forms cannot be lost or gained; it is the soul that remains eternal and untarnished!

As the risk of sounding like a loon (not that you guys didn't know that about me already!) I'll get into some of the mythological context that I've been ruminating upon as I synthesize all this new information to share with you. We can reference Joseph Campbell's "Power of Myth" or an old favorite, Holger Kalweit's "Dreamtime and Inner Space" to find that in all cultures, the Shamanic transformation happens after the body dies a literal of symbolic death, is torn to pieces (sounds gross, but try to keep up!) and is replaced with new parts to make a new man who can now heal himself and his tribe, aided with new insight from the spirit world. Sounds crazy, I know, but we see the pattern repeated over and over in history, most notably in Western culture with the story of Christ himself.

I say this without ego, because I fully realize I'm no more special or different than anyone else. I'm the same old Pat, rest assured, and if there ever was a hero, it ain't me babe. But I'm beginning to understand that this is a process we ALL must go through in some form or fashion at different points in our lives, and it sometimes helps us to have a contextual framework to guide us and help us process what's happening. I'm simply God's vessel delivering a message of Hope and Faith. And, as I've said before, the True God that I speak of is simply too great to require labels, religion dogma, or any outdated historical/cultural frameworks to exist. It is in knowing that God can be found within and without ourselves at all times, and there is and endless supply of power, healing, and compassion therein.

One of my favorite tales from Old English literature is the Arthurian legend of Percival (perseverance) and the quest for the Holy Grail, found within the story of Percival and The Fisher King, I had always identified with Percival in the past, a true knight who rode on and on in his quest to find the Grail and restore the kingdom. But Percival was somewhat of a loner figure, which I certainly was for a spell as a younger man, but am no longer, being a man of my world. I find that I more closely identify with the backstory of the Fisher King himself; Although there are so many interpretations of the story, in a nutshell, the King as a young boy found the Grail was filled by its power and holy purity. He was entrusted with its care for all time. As a young man, he began to see the ways of the world and lost his faith in the land and in himself and in the Grail. He suffered a wound in battle that would never heal, and lingered on in this state between half-life and death for years as his lands and people, connected to his very essence, continued to do the same. It was not until the fool Percival, through the pure act of blind compassion, simply fed him from the cup of the Grail "Because you were thirsty" that the King remembered that the Grail and its answers had been in his possession all along: he simply forgot where he had put it! He and the Grail were one, and through this, all of his kingdom (the external and internal) was restored.

Well, enough of that weirdness. I'm about to do some laps around the nurse's station and then take a lovely afternoon nap. My nurse came in to inform me that the diabetic finger prick they just did on me thirty or so minutes ago was actually a mistake and was meant for another patient. We all had a nice chuckle about it (I believe this is called Gallows Humor) and everyone's happy.

So, in closing, need not worry about me, my good brethren! For I am in a far better place than I have ever been. Again, it's not about the end result, it's about the journey and how well we played the game. And, in the end, if that result be that I do leave this mortal world behind, then know that this is not defeat. Far from it. It is redemption and salvation. And I'm good with that too.

Love and light to all,


  1. Thanks for summoning the energy to post this, Pat.

    Have you read Deepak Chopra's "Life After Death?" It's one of the few books that I can truly say has changed my life.

    All the best.

    Chris Diaz

  2. You're an inspiration to us, Pat, and we are all sending you so much love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  3. I agree with every word except when you say you're no hero. You are one of the most amazing souls I have met, you are a true hero in many ways. And for sharing the depths of your spirituality and journey with us, you are even more a hero.

    Best of luck to you, call me anytime and just let me know if you'd like company at the hospital. I could bring magazines, crosswords, Chinese finger traps, you name it!

    All my love,

  4. Agree, you are a hero. I know at times I may have said otherwise, but when I look at the way you've pulled yourself up through your career, maintained a loving marriage, and have so many darned friends, I am awed. You really are what I hope to be when I grow up.

    Great music choices there, but could you throw in somebody who didn't die a young death? I suggest Tone Loc.--love you forever, your sis

  5. I find it incredibly inspiring that the pattern of Shamanic transformation you wrote about has repeated itself again -- this time, with you. You articulated so well your realizations about life, death, and God, and how you've realized that you're spiritually in a good place, and then BAM! New liver.

    To anyone who doubts the existence of God, I give you Pat Buchta.