Archive February 22, 2019

The Man on the Flying Trapezius

I can feel those tell-tale ropes, lashing the base of her skull to the middle of her spine, running from the nape of her neck to the tip of her shoulder and along the inside margin of her shoulder blade.  I don’t have to hear her tell it to know how she spends her days at work – hunched forward over a computer terminal, shoulders around her ears as they rise in tandem with the tension and anxiety of her day-to-day life.

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Our Revels Now Are Ended

Three-quarters of the way through the show I recognize that Prospero’s staff is, in fact, a caduceus.  In the same instant, I understand for the first time that the brooding, vengeful wizard’s sudden change of heart, the decision to forgive and to mend instead of to punish and to destroy, comes about because Prospero is dying.

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Lasting or Living?

What is the difference between living forever and just lasting forever?

One of my students posed this question in class last week, and I think she nailed it exactly.  We were discussing Robert Heinlein’s story, “Methuselah’s Children,” where his biblically long-lived characters, called the Howard families, encounter a race of immortals who survive through a hive-mind that erases their individual identities.  Are they living forever, or just lasting forever?

What would make us immortal?  Being aware forever?  Being physically able to walk the earth forever?  Or having our words, our memories, or our genes persist through all time?

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