I was staying in a monastery on Mt Athos when I broke a tooth on some hard bread at supper. There was a monk dentist, Father Luke, who dealt with the tooth. It was so badly broken that I needed a root-canal treatment. He treated me on two or three evenings after Compline. And then sent me to a contact in Volos where I was to stay next to finish the job with a crown. I asked Father Luke what I owed for my treatment. He replied, very cheerfully, ‘Nothing. In any case, Malcom, you can’t afford it.’—which was probably true.
In the US, being able to afford dental care is a big deal. Getting a job that offers medical AND dental coverage is a source of envy. The beauty I saw in this story is the monk’s warm and light-hearted personality coming through.
Not only did he dismiss the story-teller’s offer of payment, but he also teases him, as though hours of his labour were well worth it. I also loved the way the story-teller was equally humorous in his reply.
Kazz Morohashi is a Japanese-American artist/designer from California. Her primary interest is in designing social learning experiences that enable people to tap into the emotional world of others. Her work is often illustrative and varies from 2D graphic and handmade designs to 3D sculptural work. She is drawn to narrative imaginary worlds and finds her inspiration in everyday life and animals.