Monday, October 13, 2003


Astonishing glimpses of fall from my recent Persephenoid undergroundedness: leaves turrning colors, and some, now, even falling. I like the hectic feel of movement -- leaves in the air, tumbling along the street in the wind with that unique scritching sound. Like everything's on pilgrimage. The backyard crabgrasslawn has browned nicely, and wears a dusting of leaves. Mr Sturgis has arrived under the cover of darkness and quietly removed the remaining two dead hemlocks, those ill-fated trees that that lawn care lothario Mr Caruso foisted of onto us landscape naifs.

There's a certain deciduousness happening here, too. The Goddess entropy has taken up residence and is having her way with my house.
Scraps of unidentifiable effluvium litter the floor. The rugs seem to be sprouting nubbins of small mammals. The litter box room -- well, there must be clauses in the Public health Laws that pertain.

Persephone. Weil keeps mentioning how she ate the pomegranite seed, and her fate was sealed -- Kore a mange le grenade. Hey, Uncle Sig, doesn't a pomegranite seem more feminine than phallic ? Except for all those little seeds. Nothing androgynous, though, about the God of the Underworld. I am reminded of my first glimpse of a living testis. In surgery, in medical school. It resembles, I thought, astonished, a peeled egg.

I am also remembering the day I sat in Dr M's office catharting, deeply immersed in, lost in, the last extra-late limb of my residency, circa 1993, miserable and addled beyond belief. It was a lovely spring day, and the window was slightly open, and I remember cool wind on my elbow. His office was a sanctuary, laden with the whole experience of my psychoanalysis with him 2 decades prior. He saw me gratis a few times a month when I was at my worst there, simply trying to get through the next moment. It struck me, that day, that to me practicing medicine was like a marriage to the God of the Underworld, and that the rest of my life -- writing, family -- was like my springtime reunion with Demeter. The other image that keeps returning is that of Jonah in the whale's belly.

The doctor despite herself.

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