Saturday, February 5, 2011

Readings: Such Ills as the Flesh is Heir To

I find that these words of Caryll Houselander cover it all, from soup to nuts:

xxxWe are afraid of birth, of the pain, the crudity, the fierceness of birth, of the responsibility of the new life.
xxxWe are afraid of life, of its continual demand on us, of its continual challenge to us: we are afraid of pain, of sickness, and of the pains and sickness of others.
xxxWho does not know the hard anguish of waiting in the specialist’s reception room for the verdict on someone dear to us, the dreadful certainty of the verdicts of modern science, the blood-test and the X-ray?
xxxAnd the fevers of little children: the bright blackness of the eyes, the mouths burning suddenly like malignant dark flowers, and the dreaded six-o’clock, when we must look at the thermometer and we dare not look!
xxxWho has not known fear of the death that comes slowly to old people, old people who are dear to us and who die, or seem to die, in little bits.
xxxAnd who does not know the fear of loneliness and poverty in old age?

What’s that? This is not you, you say? Right. Okay. Whatever you say. And you never lie; and you never masturbate, either – do you, Sparky? Wait. There's more:

xxxThen there is the daily, petty fear; fear of losing a hated job--a job that cramps and constricts the heart but which means the four walls of home, the food and warmth for the little family--fear that moves in a vicious circle, making us hate because we cringe and cringe because we hate.

Is that a little closer to home? If not, hey--I've got some water I'd like you to walk on. We can put it YouTube and go viral together.