I have always been the type of person who can get lost in images and symbols. As a result of an overactive imagination that I’ve had since youth, a simple phrase can send my mind reeling with thoughts and change my entire mood. The daruma has been one of those symbols.

I don’t proclaim to know any more about the history of daruma dolls than what anyone can read on Wikipedia. But I can sum it up: a daruma is a small figure that cannot be knocked over (a weeble-wobble it would be called by us white ghosts who grew up in America). Its eyes are empty. You take the daruma and think of a goal, something you really want to attain. Then you fill in one eye.

From that time on your daruma sits, staring at you with its one good eye.

And you go about your day. And then you go about your week. And then you go about your month. And all the little necessities of life come up. Today I need to buy a valentines present. Today I need to go home for Easter. Today I need to go to the park with friends and fly a kite. Today I need to rake leaves. Today I need to make a Halloween costume.  Today it is going to snow and I need to buy salt for the steps. And during all that time your daruma watches you. And when it catches your eye it asks, “Remember your dream? What are you doing today to get there?”

And I think that is the most amazing thing about a daruma. He is always there to remind you that you have a dream. In the overwhelming din of the modern world where there is so much to do, see and hear, it is easy to lose track of the things that are important to you. There are just too many delightful distractions. But your daruma sits there to remind you quietly, but louder than all.

I first penned in the one good eye of my daruma about two years ago, I think (I can’t really remember he’s been with me so long now). My dream was to start this website. As a medical student I was pretty frustrated with medical education, particularly the cost. I have boxes and boxes of medical books in my basement that cost me thousands of dollars beyond the couple hundred thousand I spend to attend medical school.  Every time I bought another fifty dollar book a little voice inside me said, “ridiculous, this is way overpriced. Someday I’ll fix this.” Then with the growth of e-books I thought “finally, the price will come down.” But the price never did, they stayed the same even though publishers don’t have to pay to create a physical book. Again, ridiculous.

I wanted to create a meaningful repository of medical information. Something fun and maybe a bit strange (kinda like myself). I wanted a place to write (yes…as you can see I am terribly out of practice) and where I could program (because it is hard to give up your first love).

Making this ridiculous website into something has been a long time coming. It’s been slow. Time is the physician’s enemy. Work takes so much time that there is barely time for family and friends let alone hobbies.  But within this past month a couple things have happened. I had one of the residents come up to me and say “yeah, I still use your website to teach the students sometimes”. And right afterwards I received a twenty-five dollar deposit from people buying our ABG program. I feel like there is finally some validation for this crazy idea of mine. I know...twenty-five is what a hospitalist makes for working about fifteen minutes or a prostitute makes for working about thirty minutes. But if I was just in this for the money there would be easier ways to make twenty-five dollars. And if I had the choice between being a hospitalist and prostitute, I’d likely chose prostitute. At least then you could say no to being fucked by orthopedics :)

Anyway, today I am finally filling in the second eye of my daruma. He has done a lot to keep me going and finally shown me some results for the effort. But I am also a firm believer that we all need something to keep us going. So with this I’m taking out his brother and starting anew. As the song says, the best is yet to come.




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Last Updated December 16, 2012