Friday, October 17, 2003


Finally, after weeks of UN level shuttle diplomacy with Margaret the Beth Israel Film Librarian, my neck MRI arrives via Fedex.

I tear the envelope open, greedy for a look at my innards.

The pictures are beautiful, and creepy at the same time. Me, as bisected cadaver. Me voila, indeed.

I was reflecting, the other day, about the inner landscape. How the heart feels impossibly remote, like some God dwelling at the core of a mountain. In fact, I can feel my heart tapping on my ribcage when I lie on my left side and exhale, doing its lub dub thing centimeters from my probing hand.

The brain seems elsewhere. Aloft, I think. Upstairs. Certainly not a trepanation away. Uterus ? Occulted, for sure. Something curled in a den, hibernating, underground. In the next county. I remember my astonishment when, pregnant, I could first feel it rising above the pubic symphysis. The spleen ? Off somewhere slouching in a disreputable bar, cell phone off, hours late for dinner. Intestines ? Tunneling to China.

There is dissection, then there is putting the body back together and living in it. Same with mind, all those busy, fusty skandhas noted and released, noted and released.

There is etymology, then there is putting the word back together.

And in poetry, seeing, and saying. The force and rightness of things. Pulling out GMHopkins to refresh myself on "inscape," I find excerpts from his journals -- rude sketches of a bluebell and an ash twig, and ruminations on their "inscape." Their isness, their suchness.

I think the project of the rest of my life has become the reconstructive one, the reconstitutive one. Seems somehow fitting to my current state of mild fallen apartness.

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