Apologies for not offering much content lately. Many things collided in my head at once. I have never had allergy problems before, but that’s the only thing I can chalk it up too, I suppose. It’s either that, or an un-diagnosed brain tumor. Until tonight, headaches have been ruling my life. I was actually considering seeing a doctor (a real rarity for me), until I heard a not so wonderful story from a student today.
You grow to expect “My grandmother died, so my paper isn’t ready,” and variations on that theme. But when it’s a guy who’s making great progress in the class who greets you with teary eyes to tell you that his step-father just died in the same hospital that you were in just a little over a year ago, you tend to take it seriously. It seems he was having difficulty breathing. He rang the nurses, but they didn’t come. He staggered out to the nurse’s station. He died on the floor.
In the other class, there have been two surgeries on students, complete with the scars and drugged-out gaze. It’s an epidemic of misfortune. Makes me feel better about my silly little headache problem. I’m still breathing, even if I’ve only been managing to sleep for two or three hours at a stretch before the skull-crushing pain wakes me up. I hope tonight will be better. I suspect it will. What makes it worse is what I’m trying to read with these blasted fireworks going off behind my eyes. Just when Judith Butler and Foucault were seeming completely comprehensible, I have to try and tackle some Heidegger. Bad timing. If I didn’t have a headache before hand, those sorts of philosophical brain-twisters would give me one. If I were smart, I’d just put it down. But I hate it when I don’t understand things. I tend to be rather persistent that way. Not to mention trying to get a better handle on Swift. People who think deconstruction is new have never read Swift. He slashes everything with his razor tongue so deep that you’re never quite sure if he’s really serious about anything.
On the plus side, I’m going to try to go to the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival this Saturday. That is, provided the headache situation continues to improve. It seems to pass when the weather shifts, and the rain the last few days seemed to help. It will be good to get down there and hit the galleries. I haven’t been in over a year, though it is only about 40 minutes south of here. It’s a pretty little tourist town where Al Capone used to vacation.
I’ve got a lot more think-writing that I need to do around here really soon, and I’ll apologize in advance if it gets a little dull. It is so hard to sort out the birth of so many things that we take for granted, hero-wise, across the eighteenth century. I’m struggling for coherence. It’s difficult to write mostly because it’s all happening simultaneously, and doesn’t fit into a convenient chronology. And there is also a bunch of gender-theory I need to sort out, just so I can keep track of who-said-what for future reference. Not exactly light reading. Sometimes, I just want to write stories instead.
I was talking to an incredible Modernist scholar on Tuesday, Russell Murphy, and he told me that he was thinking about retiring to write. He said: “I got into this to be one of those people who gets studied, not one that does the studying.” He laughed when I told him that I’d thought of that too, but I figure that I have at least another ten years of this before I try to step to the other side. I just feel so damned stupid most of the time, there is so much more to read and to know. And it’s very difficult to get far when you’re having crushing headaches that make thinking unprofitable. Oh, and while I’m in such an apologetic mood I should mention that the server is behaving strangely, and making parts of the site inaccessible. It’s not just you.