My Root Canal and The Cold War


“Struwwelpeter Pillow” made from a vintage Hankie

So, this is the truth, having my Root Canal was less painful than having my teeth cleaned.   I’m not saying this is everyone’s experience, and maybe having the pain of the abscess the week before made it all seem easier, but really, after the prick of the Novocaine needle, it was a breeze.  I have to go back in a couple of weeks so they can fill up the tooth and cap it, but I’m actually looking forward to it.  Then it will be all done.

And I have my dentist and the end of The Cold War to thank for it.  My dentist, because he obviously is really good at what he does.  And The Cold War because, as Dr Coco explained to me, after the end of The Cold War, a certain metal (I can’t remember the name of it) became available that previously was used to make  military planes.  When they stopped making the planes, the government no longer had any use for it and someone came up with the brilliant idea to use it to make those tiny files they use to clean out the bacteria and gunk in a dead tooth.  And because this metal bends instead of breaking, like the other metals the tiny files were made out of, they could be hooked up to an electric drill.  That means the dentist no longer had to file your tooth by hand, making the whole process quicker and easier and more efficient and less painful.

I remember years ago having dinner in a restaurant and the owners inviting me outside to look through a telescope to see the moons of Jupiter ( I think it was Jupiter, but I’m not really up on my night sky so it could be another planet and her moons).  The thing that really struck me was that those moons were there my whole life, yet I had never seen them.  Even when I looked up at the sky with my naked eye, and was told they were there, I couldn’t see them.  Which made me think of what else was right in front of me that I wasn’t seeing.

I think it’s the same thing with my Root Canal and The Cold War.  We have this metal, that could be used in a way to keep people from suffering.  It’s right in front of us, big as a fleet of airplanes.  And who would ever have suspected ending The Cold War could have such a profound affect on our teeth.  Like Jupiter’s moons it boggles my mind to think of the unseen possibilities before me, before all of us, from the mundane to the monumental.

9 thoughts on “My Root Canal and The Cold War

  1. Jon’s blog says that it is your birthday today.

    Wishing so many good things for you now and in the future. Happy, happy.

  2. Happy soon-to-be Birthday, Maria.

    After I moved to New Mexico from Philadelphia, I was astounded — absolutely astounded — by the night sky, all the stars, all the planets. They’d always been there (of course!), but I’d never been able to see them for all the light pollution in the big city. Now I can walk out of my house before dawn and see the Big Dipper and all the constellations. What a gift.

    Every time I had a “big” birthday (20, 30, 40, etc.), my mother told me it would be the best decade of my life. “Oh, your 20s will be fabulous!” “Oh, your 30s will be the best time of your life!” “Oh, your 40s are absolutely magical!” So, in honor of my now departed mother, let me tell you that your 50s will be the best, most fulfilling, connected, magical and awesome decade yet.

  3. just watched your interview– bravo! I realized that it was a treat to hear your (spoken) voice.. . you were wonderful, brave, articulate and sweet . . .stay warm and cozy. . .vg

  4. This is wonderful Maria. Just beautifully written and genuine. Wishing you a joyful birthday tomorrow and a really wonderful getaway. Many blessings to you as you begin a new decade of life!

  5. Maria, I am just thrilled at how the pillow came out and hope that Tess thinks so too. Wishing you a Happy Birthday, much good health and love.

  6. I love the pillow Maria. You are so gifted with using your fabric pieces and streaming drawings to “tell a story”. In this piece you let the lovely vintage hankie tell the story and supported it with your lovely applique and fabric choices that did not get in the way of the delicate beauty of the hankie. Not being a fabric artist myself I am trying to describe the mechanics of what I don’t understand- just what my eye sees. And it sees beauty.

  7. emailed my birthday greetings to you last week, but sending more wishes for a year of love, grace, and laughter. . . thank you for your example of creative strength and courage. . .for your light that shines across the miles. . . Veronica

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