April 19, 2004

Influenza and such are given us, at least in part, to appreciate what it is to be healthy. (Perhaps all true gifts have two edges?) Yesterday was lost, even the thunderstorm going mostly unnoticed (I hope that will not be the case today); and today the room continues to spin just a little: but at this rate I should be appreciating fully (I hope!) by tomorrow.

(What I remember mostly of the storm was my own puzzlement, thinking that it must be morning and yet it was perceptibly becoming darker and darker, almost to night. Others would comment later on how very dark that cloud had been. But the thunder, the lightning, I scarcely noticed at all.)

A curious question: were I to be granted the option for absolute and complete and perfect health for the duration of my lifetime, would I wish it? Would I come to resent it? (Is this state of my being simply too healthy for me to appreciate it in and of itself?)

Costs can be invisible. The beginnings of empathy is the ability to place oneself in the other person's shoes: how could I, perfectly healthy, begin to imagine what it is to be ill? What would I lose by not being able to conceive of it? What is an entire society, devoted to the cult of youth and determined health, losing? Even in the strict application of reason and law, we come close enough to Erewhon as it is!

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