Monday, June 10, 2002

Walking home from shul, my father and I came upon a man raking beneath an enormous tree. I commented to my dad on the tree's beauty. I recognized it as the type that guards some of the more majestic congressional offices downtown--onlyslightlyarching arms radiating from a solid vertical axis, glossy-leather leaves spraying out in all directions, and nested within them large white orbs, colored the inner flesh of pears, curves rounded in invitation to bite.
As my Dad greeted the raking man, I decided to sate my curiosity: "What type of tree is this?"
--"Oh." The man grimaces, and turns away from the tree in disgust. "This ugly beast is a southern magnolia."
Curious at this man reaction, so incongruous with my impression of the tree, I prodded him further, and he explained that the tree's leaves fall three times a year, and he is bound into continually raking them up. Then, as if to point out the height of his agonies, he gestured toward the pear-orb flowers, which he said fell to the ground and dried harder than leather, breaking his rakes as he struggled to clear the ground beneath.

I am coming out (hopefully) of a cold. Symptoms manifested over the past weekend:
Pressure and heat pressing outward about my head, sometimes to extreme degrees
Sandbag weights pressing horizontally inward upon my ears
Constriction of upper breathing passages
Intermittent clogging and draining of sinuses

but far beyond all these symptoms, the worst of all, the reason I despire illness over all:
--self absorption. being sick has commanded almost all of my attention inward at these symptoms, so that I was often not able to appreciate anything else. I would long for sleep and then only to dream more of my sickness. Several times over the weekend I one respite through distraction and good company. Vanilla Sky with parents, Harry Potter and Two Gentlemen of Verona with friends.