Sunday, March 24, 2013

This last month has been a strange one. About four weeks ago my hard drive stopped working. I took it to the computer shop just up the hill from where I live and they replaced it. Unfortunately they weren't able to recover any of the data. The items of the most immediate importance, documents relating to teaching and all my school work from the fall I had luckily backed up at the end of last semester, but all my creative work from the beginning of the summer; a play, hundreds of music files along with random writings and field recordings are, at the moment, lost. I'm going to take the "dead" hard drive somewhere else and see if they can revive it, and we'll see. It was surprising how disturbing the whole process was, as someone who likes to think that he's not too attached to objects or ideas (there's always more where that came from + we imbue things with meaning, not the other way around), perhaps I'm not as free as I'd like to think. I was talking to a friend about it and he made the connection between a loss of monuments to self (selfish objects? rhet/comp is getting to me...) i.e. art objects, and a loss of parents, i.e. idealized monoliths of people we use to negotiate ideas of self. A loss of identity naturally leads us to search for new ones. Granted the last ten years of writing was not lost, but all the momentum of the last year was. Identity not as an idea, but as a real time indicator of how we spend our time (days, hours, minutes, seconds).

Two weeks ago Monday I took my cat, who had not been eating and was uncharacteristically spending her entire days under the bed, to the vet. She was diagnosed with a fairly advanced kidney failure plus and infection in her mouth that prevented her from eating. It's hard to say which lead to which, as both were feeding off each other (the vet speculates that the mouth infection exacerbated the kidney failure), but everyday of Spring Break was spent taking her to the vet, testing, giving medication, and talking to doctors. The good news is that she's feeling a lot better, her mouth infection is gone, and she's out from under the bed, but she's still not really eating all the much and there's really not much to be done about kidney's that no longer clean the blood and absorb nutrients. Twice a day I have to inject her with saline solution, which as a process means sticking an thick needle into the folds skin on  her back. Oddly, she doesn't seem to mind this nearly as much as when I was giving her oral injections for her mouth infection. In the long term, care for her does not necessarily promise a long life or good quality of life, and I've been weighing options in terms of cost, time and money. Taking care of her while considering that it may be soon for her to move on, trying to enjoy what's left and make peace with possibilities.

The third loss I'm not going to go into explicitly, and it's not a life or death loss, but is still painful. Oddly enough, my spirits are generally good, I've been exercising, meditating, eating well enough, and talking a lot with friends and family about this absurd month, which I think is probably the biggest reason that the bumminess of all this isn't sticking, the fact that I am loved, etc. School is generally good as far as the work, and teaching is generally the best part of my day, as usual. Two quotes from the paper about six weeks ago, the first from an article about education in China, and the second about the meteorite that fell into Russia. The third is from Plato's Phaedrus (line 249c):
"All the parents in the village want their children to go to college because only knowledge changes your fate."

"A meteor fell. So what? Who knows what can fall out of the sky?"
"...the things our soul saw while traveling with god...."