Site Meter Peculiar Susceptibility: self layered on self layered on self again

Friday, October 3, 2008

self layered on self layered on self again

What happens - I want to know - to a pearl that's not harvested.

I've set out a couple times to start my essay for the Archaeology of Wonder catalogue.  Each time I do, I think back to conversations - specific ones - from the early days of my two most significant relationships.  Such a strange feeling, this palimpsestic self.

It's always in Egypt that one forgets oneself in labor, overwhelming labor, body-bending and memory-arresting labor.  And so it was for the heir apparent who, sent by his despot parents to fetch the pearl (this, some rite of passage), fell into it.  The filthy clothes.  The food of back-breaking work.  The days so filled with it that they eclipsed his own legacy of himself.

Natural pearls are sometimes formed by a parasite lodged in the reproductive organs of a mollusk.  The creature soothes itself, smoothes over the intruder with the very nacre that makes up its shell, does it again and again until there's a pearl.

So, when the son forgot his former self, it was as though that former self was an intruder that he covered and covered, calcitrated by each new situation of self.

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