April 26, 2007
It’s odd. I have yet to don a white coat or take a patient’s blood pressure, and yet medical culture has already influenced how I think about certain specialties and how I perceive myself as fitting into them. In part, this is because I come from a medical family–both my parents are psychiatrists (Yeah, I know, another reason I’m strange). And the med school interview process directly asks, “What kind of a doctor would you be?” Then there are pop culture books, TV shows, and movies.
But the influences that interest me are those that come to us unintentionally. Consider jokes.
A man came into a doctor’s office with a banana shoved into one ear, several grapes jammed into his nose, and a carrot wedged into the other ear.
The doctor looks at the man and says, “Well, for one thing, I can tell that you’re not eating right.”
No, not that kind of joke. “Doctor, it hurts when I do this…” We hear such jokes as commentary on general human folly. I’m talking about jokes that tickle only those being educated about the different medical sects. Read the rest of this entry »
April 12, 2007
Last night, I discovered a wonderful quotation. Because of it, I dreamt myself into an a sunny world without sky or ground but was everywhere filled with a loose matrix of flowering cherry boughs and small flitting blackbirds. Dreams often show us the importance of things we might otherwise ignore. So when I woke , I wondered why I was so moved by this quotation:
“I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs.
–Joseph Addison 1672-1719
Most Addisonion quips are unabashed pearls of wisdom, meant to instruct. But what is he teaching here? That we are to find beauty in adversity? Open our minds to unexpected forms for joy? Appreciate nature?
He certainly is not espousing that we eschew dominion of nature. This is after all an economic transaction: Addison is using the cherries to ‘pay’ the birds for their voices.
I believe it is the quotation’s imagery, rather than any quick lesson, that conveys profundity–the midnight feathers amid the spidery boughs, the rubicund cherries in black beaks, the strange exchange of dark fruit for song that happens in the bellies of the small birds. Read the rest of this entry »
April 11, 2007
So 7 hours into dactodoodling and think I understand a bit more about how the code works and how wordpress managed all this. I kinda wish I weren’t here in this coffee shop. I kind of wish I were on a canoe on a clear lake. Hence the image. Oh dear, this means I’ll have to start taking a lot more pictures.
April 10, 2007
So here’s the first post as I try to sort this whole thing out. I just submitted what I hope will be the penultimate draft of Spellwright to Jim and am not quite ready to dive into Spellbound. Ergo, I’m here trying to get a blog off the ground. If I were smart, I’d probably search for some systematic way of learning how to do this. But that’s not really my style. I much more of a didactodabblist. I think I developed my prose style–such as it is–from didactodabulation. I think most writers develop their styles in this way. Most likely I’ll have to give this up come gross anatomy. “Mr. Charlton,” I can imagine a prof saying, “please refrain from didatodabbling that liver; it doesn’t go back together as easily as it comes apart.”