Diagnostics

There is a lazy kind of love that reduces everything to its own size or to within its line of vision. It may be represented by the language of the pejorative - which always reminds me of the phrase in one language that goes something like: I love you so much, I could eat you to death.
But usually such observations come from the consumed end, lazily watching people as they go through their scenes - not contributing so much as watching. It is possible to develop humour with jet lag. One scene can come to mean something very different, if the film is long enough.
And just when such petty details seem to pile up to the point of submersion, the rain comes pouring down and washes away debris - that word referring to the break downs and crushing that life may represent some times. Time and again I wonder why some people deny the existence of debris in life. Since teenage dawn, when I read  La Cité de la Joie, I have considered debris to include discarded tinsel that some people find and take back to their square meter of pavement to use for ornamental purposes.
This is not to pride melancholy or to make of it a little temple, but to appreciate that sometimes things are less than perfect and pasting a saccharine smiley face over it can be in poor taste, because dessert comes after the vegetables - if there is dessert at all. Vitamins are to be valued above the white sugars.
None of this is tragic in the view of life that extends to beyond what can be seen in any single frame. Lazy love may limit this. Or the view in line with Loukoums and powdery sugar so fine and hazy we find ourselves next in the delirium of Michaux's drawings. The edge returns. Now is the time to deal with it.
Some people are broader and some, narrower. The latter are usually looking within the frame of their line of vision. Only the pained heart reaches out on the lines of the zither. Only this crescent moon reaches me through its reflection in the window pane that is at an angle. As I sit and work, it moves out of that frame, which does not mean it has dropped out of the sky.
As the range of experience becomes limited, there may be fewer diagnosticians, those who understand how to apply empiricism and logic to that which requires discernment: the eye that knows how to distinguish. It is posited that some wish for fewer doctors (I speak of those who administer to the soul). There are also those who defend the trade on the basis of partisan bias, not for its finer side and vademecum of rationality - because the Victorians were knowledgeable and waged wars, such people say, we reject the encyclopedic mind - so forgetting that we, too, wage wars even without such fine knowledge. It is not the finer pursuit at fault but the human soul that languishes outside of the frame, my crescent moon no longer in the window. But they care not: their rhetoric, while claiming to save is that aimed to deepen the infirmity of their subject.




The Greek word διαγιγνώσκω means to discern as well as to form a diagnosis. Discernment is one of those plastic words that may shift from case to case: the when and the what of circumstances to which the rule applies. It is not to play with words to consider this word in terms of the waning humanities: διαναγιγνώσκω means also to read through - as in this passage by Polybius (translated here: to read through his forty books, which are as if all threads of the warp woven into one, "as it were all in one piece" κατὰ μίτον ἐξυφασμένα).
Diagnostics, in its perceiving - partly, knows that the moon may sink beneath the surface and can pick apart rhetoric to see what is not being said. Current rhetoric would have us interpret only in the privacy of our living rooms (goodness forbid we agree on meaning, we would become self-satisfied, Empire-building Victorians!) without first giving us the appropriate tool set. No more the medical vademecum, we are left to our own, impoverished resources which are usually referred to as instincts: where there is no rational mind, they remain.
Happily, though, the logics, analytics and experience of diagnostics allows for a far more complex warp and weave of life that does not reduce one to within an automatic and unlearned rectangle. One may enjoy the subtleties of life.
Which reminds me that I must get back to work translating the text that the publishers eventually decided was important enough to warrant time and attention. Yesterday evening I marvelled at how much was "brought up into" the work: my foreign correspondents' notebook from over a decade ago the perfect format for the list of my style manual, the music I played at one point to ward off a wave of fatigue, a glance at the crescent moon in the window. Such are some threads in the less visible warp that make up our works. Some attempt to argue such threads into irrelevance - serving themselves with, all the while, the fine, nuanced language of diagnostics they claim to disregard.





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