Letter from the Editor: Surrealistic Pillow

By: Steve Elias, MD - AVF Newsletter Editor

Airports give you a sense of suspended animation. Time passes slowly or time is a jet plane, it moves too fast. Either way there is a sense of reality, airports offer an oasis in our lives. They are a homogenistic soup of people and plans. No matter what reality you live in, airports and air travel can warp time and space. You are at the mercy of the wind, rain, snow, and mechanical failure etc. For these of us who work hard to control the most minute variable in our lives, air travel is the equalizer. Like God and religion we have no real say; you either believe, accept and acquiesce or you fight futiley for command and control. The latter is worthless. Sun Tzu in the “Art of War” suggests never to start a battle you cannot win. Air travel is that metaphorical battle. If your flight is delayed, suck it up, acquiesce, and enjoy.

Enjoy the powerless. Enjoy the uncertainty of the situation. Enjoy the inconsequential importance. Enjoy the fact that you are at the mercy of forces beyond your control. It is liberating. Think of all the things you have always wanted to do if you just had the time. Now you have the time. Alcohol helps. Seek out an airline lounge or bar. Have a drink, resist electronics. Observe all the other poor souls in your position. See who is miserable with delays and waits. Pity them. See who is embracing the moment and its absurdity. Become them. Think about your family, think about your life, and think about eternity. Think how lucky you are to be forced to do nothing, and do nothing, just let your mind wonder. Blame this all on air Canada. Flight delay. The Air Canada Lounge in Toronto is a wonderful haven for those delays. It has good food, good drink and great view. After some good food and good drink my mind is wandering in the way that surrealistic pillow of air travel can support.

Surrealism, a la Margritte, DeChirico or Dali, either distorts time and space or creates a new language of incomprehensible reality known many times only to the artist. In Blue News Now this issue we try to be more like Impressionists: Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir etc. We have ideas about the reality of vein care. However we try to cover diverse topics that you can read to come to your own ideas about “What does it all mean?” As you float through Blue News Now be sure to stop at our President John Blebea’s message. If you want to appreciate what being a member of AVF gives you, see how much work is going on in our society. John gives you a great summary of what we’re doing and where were going. You see how much is happening. If you want to get involved, let John know.

Our past president, Peter Pappas, is the topic of our ongoing series, “The Advanced Venous Career.” We explore through past presidents perspective (alliteration) the AVF’s past, present, future. Read his thoughts about the future. Learn from his perspective regarding the past. Research, Invention, Future Leaders. All are discussed in 2 other articles: “Inventing Is in the Eye of the Physician” and “Where There Is Medical Research, There Is Viable Healthcare.” The very generous BSN Jobst Research Grant is now $100,000. It has been the cornerstone of AVF sponsored research. See why BSN Jobst has increased its support and how many more quality applicants this has engendered. The Physician Inventor is always interesting. Who comes up with these ideas? Smart doctors. Michael Tal MD and Rod Raabe MD give us insights into how ClariVein and VenaSeal came to be. They let their minds wonder and found a solution to a problem. In a way you could say in the spirit of the surrealists. Creating a different reality.

So as the surrealistic pillow of air travel ends and reality kicks in, my flight is finally ready for boarding. However, it is hard to put down this issue of Blue News Now. I’m trying to follow the advice of the song “White Rabbit” from the album “Surrealistic Pillow” by Jefferson Airplane:

“When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backward,

And the red Queens off her head
Remember what the door mouse said,
Feed your head, feed your head.”

So feed your head. Enjoy this issue of Blue News Now.   

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