Description of Work

Volume 5, Issue 1 marks a new chapter in the history of our narrative medicine journal as we realize an important goal of Akesis—establishing a foothold on the Portland campus of UNE. Our hope is that Akesis becomes a familiar name among students, faculty, and staff, and that our call for submissions and issue publications are events everyone anticipates and enjoys. This issue also welcomes six new editors to Akesis, students representing a diverse sampling of UNE’s graduate and professional programs from both campuses. The success of this issue’s call for submissions is due to the efforts of these editors and the faculty advisors, all volunteers, who had the curiosity to learn more about Akesis, the passion to share narrative medicine with our colleagues, and the charity to champion our journal and solicit submissions. Thank you to everyone who helped in this undertaking to expand Akesis and to everyone who submitted their work for publication.

The theme selected for this issue, historia habitus, encompasses that which is both essential to medicine and to narratives—a body and its history. Our bodies are the records of the lives we live, and our past has formed the body we carry into the future. The hardened hands of a worker, the muscles of an athlete, the aches of old injuries, surgical scars, emotional scars, changes in our bones and behavior which may not be apparent to others, all of the changes which are the evidence of our experiences are historia habitus. Our task as health care providers is to understand that, as we naturally recognize these visible and invisible marks on ourselves, our patients have histories which were developed living lives just as complex and important to them as our lives are to us. It has been said that we are each the protagonist of our own story. Let us strive to be strong supporting characters on the hero’s journey of our patients.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Akesis and that you find comfort as well as discomfort, inspiration as well as reflection, and an everlasting sense of curiosity and wonder for the simple and complex ways that we humans share essential experiences even while acquiring them through infinitely variable life journeys.


Bonni Boles

Senior Editor of Akesis