Thursday, November 25, 2010

U, I, and I

Oh good, now my mind is clear, I can blog. I had been feeling a little odd, that I had gone a bit over the top in yesterday's post, using the word 'pray' - "I long and pray," I wrote, in reference to my preceptor, my international (if not supernatural) man of mystery who communicates - seldom, except by page hits. For which I'm grateful, don't get me wrong. But to say that I 'pray' - oh, perhaps that was a bit too strong.  But I let it go. Then this morning I read something in passing that I instantly connected with, that made me feel better, I re-read my post and felt soothed, it wasn't so bad, and then I forgot about the whole little mental incident, and went about my day, getting the bird in the oven bright and early, preparing a pan of roasted root vegetables, running to the supermarket, going for walks - and the like.

This afternoon a friend sent me a message and in it he mentioned his coming to a strengthening conviction in prayer - which instantly brought back to mind my moment from this very morning. Where - and what - was that line about prayer that had so comforted me? I went back through various feeds I subscribe to, the few pages of McGilchrist I had read...

[Aside: the man is haunting my imagination, truly (Updike to my Baker).  This morning I read the paragraph where Borges views himself as split (p. 403) - and mused anew about the curious coincidence (it seems to me) that McGilchrist's first name - Iain - is spelled with two I's - which seems unusual to me but may not be so at all, if one is, what - Scottish? Two I's - embedded within his very name the idea of two split selves.   It's something he himself is far too astute not to have noticed, but I wonder if it might have been a subconscious source of inspiration.  I have on occasion wondered about people with suggestive last names - e.g., someone named Coffin becoming an undertaker.  Anyway.  Earlier today too I heard Neil Young sing of Marlon Brando & Pocahontas (in the same breath) - so much safer than daydreaming about a very much alive married man who lives on the Isle of Skye, a place I've never been & honestly didn't even know where it was exactly, and which to me seems impossibly remote but to him, while beloved, is his everyday - and whose mysterious & haunting images I googled today, and whose scholarly resident I imagine as having locked himself away for years on end high up in a turreted room overlooking the sea, with his immense - and what turned out to be immensely worthwhile - Project.  By the way, Mr. McGilchrist, you may thank me that my little town library obtained a copy - at my personal request, several months ago!  At the time there wasn't a single copy in the entire mid-Hudson Valley regional library system.  It's the only book I've ever requested that the library purchase, except for Lyndall Gordon's Lives Like Loaded Guns - which I suggested on the same day.  Thank you, wonderful head librarian, for so kindly receiving my suggestions and then actually ordering the books.  The book was due yesterday, I'm not finished with it yet, and can't renew it again because now there's a hold on the first copy returned of two copies in the system - so I hope whoever's got the New Paltz copy returns it first, even though it's not due til December.]

Where was I? Right, so I went over the bits & pieces I had read here & there this morning - not so much (mercifully) - took a nap, slept on it - still nothing. And then thought - was it perhaps an Emily Dickinson poem I had read on the fly, in passing? Indeed it was. And so my bifurcated mind can rest now, thank goodness, I hate when she gets that way.

Prayer is the little implement
Through which Men reach
Where Presence -- is denied them.
They fling their Speech

By means of it - in God's Ear -
If then He hear -
This sums the Apparatus
Comprised in Prayer -

P.S.  I simply can't resist adding this link, published a year ago today on the 12534.  Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. North Fifth Street - I hope all's well with you.   Now let me go mash something else  - sigh - alas - tonight - potatoes.    XOXOXO

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