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After a full week of the flu, I feel myself returning, but not to normal. Normal is, after all, not something to which I’d want to return. I feel that something is just a little different now, a tiny shift of perspective, or season, or awareness, that makes me feel excited in ways I haven’t in a long while.

I know that seems strange. But perhaps I can explain. The second night that I was sick I was, thanks to ibuprofen, not feeling really terrible, and Jay and I sat out on the deck and took in some starlight. Clouds stretched out over the crest of the mountains and then morphed into new forms before disintegrating altogether. Under this midnight sky of stars and clouds we talked about what viruses are scientifically, and more interestingly, metaphysically. It was speculative conversation, nothing to which we would fasten a belief, but it was refreshing to think that a virus could be something more than a dreaded illness or a physical nuisance (see this article on horizontal gene transfer). We were specifically discussing the idea that a virus could carry some tiny piece of evolutionary code.

Whether it’s evolutionary code or just the shake-up of being sick for a week, I feel different.


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