Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Monday, January 26, 2009

Late-Night Page after watching the PBS special on J. Robert Oppenheimer

Phew.  Reluctantly, I stayed up to watch PBS's "American Experience."  I come away from this, as I usually do, feeling troubled by what a tortured life this man had.  Brilliance at a cost.  Genius at a moral cost, a mental cost.  A loss of his sense of self. 

"Though shaken, Oppenheimer continued to direct the Institute for Advanced Study and to write on the relation of Western culture to science. He bought a house in the Virgin Islands and spent time sailing. In 1963 the AEC conferred on him the Enrico Fermi Award. In 1966 he resigned from the institute. He died in Princeton." (From American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Copyright © 1999 by the American Council of Learned Societies.)  For the full article, visit:  http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/ai/aboutopp.htm

So, tonight I wonder what dreams I'll have.  Last night left much to be desired. I confessed in my Facebook status that I wished I could revise--no, delete the recurring dreams I had last night.  Strange and unsettling enough not to mention.  

Which brings up an interesting thought:  why do I have such difficulty putting these things into written word?  

Admitting that I had dreams in which I did awful things is no easy task.  Even though, and in the dream I knew this well, that what I did, what I felt I had to do, was necessary.  It was only after having done this "task" several times, and then one time more, that it became most devastating.  The last time was all of a sudden almost unfinishable, seeming never-ending, painful, filled with deep anguish.  I was consumed with horror, disgust, pity.  And what circumstance led to these dreams?  What solid thing in my life fed this twisted energy I existed on until finally getting up to start the day, wash the dishes, make the lunches?  God only knows.

On the positive side, I feel certain I taught a good class today.  My class members seemed happy and engaged--a good report.  I love days like that, and thoroughly enjoy the people who come week after week.  

And the pain in my neck and shoulder is all but gone, if not temporarily.  I've been most uncomfortable for weeks, and to be mostly free from it is wonderful.  This afternoon, instead of getting the needed cardio in while DD was at the coffee shop with a friend, studying for midterms, I got a massage.  Last minute whim, and I got in.  Timing was perfect.  One hour spent negotiating the tangled mass of knots amassed in my deltoids, lats, traps, neck. I felt it, but it was all worth it, as it always is.  It is during and after a massage I marvel at my inability to make a commitment to keeping massage a regular part of my well-being.  That, and meditation, and yoga.

So, now I'm off to sleep it off, late as it is.  

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