Tuesday, October 14, 2003

World Without Me, Amen Amen

This "medical leave" gives me the small, domestic sense of a world going on quite nicely without me, thank you. I am in my BATHROBE at 10:30 AM on Tuesday morning.

Needless to say, this little snippet of obviousness balloons into the fact that "the world" has and always will "go on without me," in TSEliot's sense of time before and time after; the moon, after all, does NOT bear a grudge, neither against "me" nor against my original face before I was born. "We were all together at the big bang" is not a particularly comforting thought, other than on a coldly cerebral level. Of course that's my turf.

I hate the word "spiritual." I hate it when it's spoken aloud with a rolling-around-upon the tongue evangelical voluptuousness, lots of emphasis on the R's and a porky "ch" right chunk in the middle. Spurrrrrch'l. Spurs, retching, church. I've replaced it in my discourse with a hedging "metaphysical," though that's not much better.

I hate the word "healing." Fine thing for a doc, eh ? I use it begrudgingly in it the narrow sense of a bodily illness or injury resolving. But it's been one of those words co-opted for marketing purposes. Invoke "healing" and the field of moral authority has been claimed. Next thing you know, "closure" will have been achieved.

It gives me the willies.

And while we're on the topic of oogy words, why does the word "tits" sound so satisfyingly tough-minded, and "titties" so, well, creepily salacious ?

I must remove this bathrobe instantly. It is "creepy" to be in a bathrobe" at 10:30 AM on a Tuesday. There is nothing salacious about this robe, however.

GG was here yesterday. We had tea, and ice cream/soy icecream. It was splendid. We yucked it up, shared poems and cosmologies (she has renamed the whole sky for her created world. It's breathtaking. I was moved to see the star charts.) She brought tales of her most interesting cirlcles of friends, and we shared wicked glee about many things. DK drove her home via a surreal visit to "staples," a hell of red marketing banners and office supplies. He kept ranting about my "saintly" and uncharacteristic refusal to get incensed at the auto dealership.

I must read George Whitesides' scholarly paper on the scientific assumptions that will crumble. One of which seems to be "That there will be a world." He's won some kind of major Japanese prize; GG's friend Barbara, his wife, old Wellesley prof, will meet the emperor. His father "discovered Egypt" or some such thing. It's exciting to be within six degrees of sep. from such marvelous and accomplished -- and reportedly genuinely nice -- folks.

PF and MK from work will visit tonight. I have sent emails warning them about the squalor. I did not mention the vague odor of cat piss that, unable to crawl about on the floor sniffing, I have yet to find and abolish.

Maybe I'll tackle "Prime" today.

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