A Salute to A Great Teacher

Monday, October 22, 2001


Today, Oprah Winfrey saluted Great Teachers.  

Mine was a dead man.  He taught me from beyond the grave ... er, from beyond the veil.  You see, he was dead, but not buried.

My great teacher was a cadaver. 

His body was left to science, preserved with formaldehyde, and ended up in a college anatomy laboratory.  

His spirit prevailed, and he put his ravaged dead body to good use by making sure that his body was assigned to me. 

His human weakness -- his indulgence -- killed him. Because of him,  I learned the valuable lesson of honoring one's body. My body.

A redemption for him, perhaps; a rescue for me, most certainly. 

Today, I salute My Great Teacher, the spirit that once inhabited that life-giving dead body.  

One cadaver 
assigned per two students.

curiously younger than the rest.

Face, smooth; 
mustache, only slightly peppered. 
50 years old.

Lungs, sludge-coated, befouled.
A smoker.

Cause of death: lung cancer.

A lesson, 

I quit cold-turkey,
that evening.

First, one life spared.

Then two.
My darling quit smoking, 
out of his sweet love for me.

Your lesson was taught well,
compellingly driven home.
Taken seriously.

We are well, 
22 years later.
Our love endures,
we are now 50.

Thank you, kind stranger,
superb teacher.

You are my great teacher,
from beyond the veil.

I salute you.


"Life is a Gift."

Author Unknown


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, September 29, 2001.
September Morn 2001