The Sound Track of a Feverish Brain

Yes. I am sick. Apparently this sort of thing happens after undergoing a massive life change: the body's immune system kicks into super-overdrive during the upheaval (in my case packing, moving, unpacking, long stretches of uncertainty, and lack of control) and then, several weeks after, when everything begins to get into a normal routine, the body's immune system relaxes... or in some cases collapses, allowing all manner of viral or bacterial attacks. While I can't say that I enjoy feeling this crappy, especially after just beginning to get my feet firmly on the ground, it does give me that strong dose of perspective that can only come from daily incapacitation.

I'm not a good sick person. I flop between complete denial of symptoms, a la my Canadian grandpa, and the sad, sad tears of the wronged child beset upon by invisible aggressors "for no good reason" a la me at age eight. I'm a pill. Enter my wife, a soup chef of unparalleled skills, a patient and caring nurse, both tender and tough, and a constant supplier of perspective. She makes me lie down, drink liquids, watch funny shows (Psyche, because Santa Barbara has never seemed so close), and come to grips with a self-worth unconnected with personal productivity or usefulness. Love my wife! On top of that, she calls Peggy, our family physician. Really Jessica's aunt who works as an administrator in a hospital in Sac, Peggy comes alive when there's diagnostics to be done. Apparently I don't have strep or the flu or a cold. It's some sort of virus, likely caused by the loss in immune system activity stated above. Thanks, Peg!

The sound track of this week long experience has taken many forms. The most curious and interesting came when I fell asleep listening to Handel's Israel in Egypt, waking only now and then in response to a rousing timpani/brass/choral number. One particular chorus that caught my ear was "He smote the firstborn of Egypt". When I later recalled this piece, I kept mixing it up with another, unrelated piece, Shostakovich's String Quartet 3 III, Allegro non troppo. At first glance, you may be incredulous at an invalid musicologist-on-summer-vacation grasping at straws. The Handel piece is a sacred oratorio from the late Baroque, involving small orchestra and SATB choir; the Shostakovich is the third movement in a five movement string quartet from the twentieth century. Yet, the similarities between their opening ideas give them some sort of shared ancestry, like a unique physical feature passed down through generations. Give 'em a listen and tell me it wouldn't be very easy to develop a very interesting, Quodlibet of an earworm!


1 comment:

  1. You're a sweetie. Hang in there you feverish beast. xo


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