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(Most images you see on this website can be found in larger format  in the Galleries or Slide Shows. If you'd like one or more for your own, e-mail me.)
Acknowledging MAUI
Some Background
          There's Something Here for You...
          Expand Your Vision of Healing
          This Started in an Ambulance
What This Site's About
Articles on the Healing Arts
A Most Unusual Rejection Letter

Art  For  Healers  Galleries - intro


      Images for Healing
        Dalai Lama Comes A-Callin'! (slideshow)
        Galleries/Slideshows on MySpace

Music and Videos

The heART of the Healer Workshop
Counseling and Creative Services
a firetender's blog


Copyright Information

Slip into the soul of an Emergency Paramedic!

Recounted in true moments of harrowing
experience, this at times painfully honest work
goes beyond the burnouts, blood and gore, and
lights and sirens
of the profession. Step into
the action where you'll find one of the first
Mobile Intensive Care Unit Paramedics in the
U.S. discovering the limits and boundaries of his humanity. Once protected by layers of insulation donned to shield him from the emotional, psychic, philisophical and spiritual assaults of the profession, this Flesh Mechanic discovers that underneath it
all is living a very human being in search
of his powers as a healer.


Want to learn more? Well, Thanks! for stopping by:

I knew from the beginning I was tackling a big subject. As a writer by nature I was compelled to articulate my experience. That turned into a 25 year exploration! The themes exposed during my times in EMS seemed beyond the simplicity of life and
death and traveled into that gray zone, the space in-between where choice lives.
What better ringside seat could there be than in the back of an ambulance?

But that's the kind of stuff you didn't talk about in the 1980's when this all played
out. Oddly enough, little has changed!
The truths I learned had more to do with relationship than technique. My lessons were not about medicine, but about
myself. Along the way I got to save a few lives.

All these esoteric lessons were learned while performing in one of the most technically precise, regulated and overseen professions on the planet. It is also largely overlooked and largely invisible to the public at large.

The dominant culture that supports the profession minimizes, denies, discourages or out and out persecutes those who allow themselves to experience themselves as human beings while doing their work. The party line is that having your human experience lessens your ability to perform as the Flesh Mechanic you're trained to be.

The purpose of my book is to reach anyone working with human beings in life and death situations. Using Emergency Medical Services as a metaphor, I believe I reflect many of the internal conflicts that my fellow practitioners experience.

Like them, things get sprung on me. Like them, sometimes I don't respond so graciously. Like them, I do very weird things just to really know what I'm in the midst of. Like them, sometimes I hurt, and hurt badly. Like them, sometimes I agonize, sometimes I abuse. And, like them, people may have died by choices I made.

Things like this are mentioned all the time. But the culture assigns it "vent" status and encourages our peers to make light, make disgusting, make funny or make anything of it other than the multifaceted expression of the human experience that it is. Sure, you can say it, but there's always someone there to deflect you from feeling it. Taking it one step deeper is something you do alone, without support, reflection or comfort being offered.

For me, those extracurricula journies into rugged personal territory made the trip worthwhile. Those years in the back of an ambulance informed every moment I spent in the healing arts since. This is my statement that stuff like this matters. That YOU matter and deserve support from your peers to really explore the world you've chosen to occupy.

Through that exploration, you will discover that your powers as a healer go way beyond anything you've been trained to deliver.

Of course, there's a catch here: I'm asking you to make the first move! Because movement begins with YOU.

I'm not kidding. Go through this website and check out the book and explore more of  the themes here. Then, next time one of your peers starts to broach a subject that involves pain, confusion, hurt, tears, anger, frustration, wonder, wordlessness, or despair, don't say anything. Listen again to the echoes of what you just heard.

Notice if there was emotional content to it. Just make room by taking it seriously,
and then, look inside and share your own humanity.

It's for ALL of us!

Russ Reina,
a firetender