Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tweedle-dee Dum said to Tweedle-dee Dee


Full moon, not from now--because this week the moon was new

Your presence is obnoxious to me”
They’re like babies sittin’ on a woman’s knee
Tweedle-dee Dum and Tweedle-dee Dee

In my ongoing Bob Dylan series: it's not hard to imagine Bush and Gore in the above pair, and then we dive deeper into gemini, the astronomical twins. Of course all of us hate the thing closest to us, the thing we are most like—the vision of ourselves as obnoxious stranger, the shadow, opposite us, looking exactly like us, but wrong. The thing we hate the most is the thing most like us.

On Nova last week, they went inside the ancient computer built by Archimedes, found in the Adriatic Sea. Its complex of knobs and toothed wheels predicted the color of eclipses, the movement of the stars, decades into the future. Carved legible Greek words—helios—carved in the bronze. How the wheeling of the stars has been important to thousands of years of human beings, and how long have we been here. Jung says the collective unconscious holds the collective store of our memory, and the thing we hate the most is our Shadow.

I have a Shadow. He follows me around, room to room. He whines at my door, scratching to be let in. He follows me to bed at night and looks at me with a face of love as I pat his warm belly. I fear his death.

So my dog is named after Jung's great other. And he reminds me of how humans have used science, astronomy, the whirring of the planets, to make sense of reality for thousands of years—and art, to tell each other stories. Alice in Wonderland names the pair—suspendered and roly-poly—and then we identify them as what they are, ourselves split, ourselves at war with ourselves—unable to grow up.

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