an electrician staring at the ceiling
my great aunt has a pacemaker and apparently her doctor is a tall, kind indian man. he travels between her city and another smaller nearby town and has 5000 patients. he is said to be very good at what he does, but he demurs and insists that he is only the electric man. humble, yes, but what else is he to do? when you are a man who keeps 5000 hearts in two different places beating, the arrogance you could possibly have is staggering. so keep your head small and assure your admirers that you are just a glorified technician that keeps machinery running smoothly. i liked the way this man thought and i hadn’t even met him, and i suddenly wanted to shake his hand, not only for keeping my aunt alive but also for his feats of humility.
there’s this old story about a woman who is a worrywart, and frets about a hatchet that is in her attic, always afraid it will fall through the ceiling and injure and perhaps kill her beloved children. my grandmother is in a constant state of worry, therefore, there are a lot of hatchets in her attic, every living thing is her child, and the sky is the ceiling above her head, the attic floor, if you will.