The Human Infection

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What a World

What a World

Math games frolic in my mind as I wake, all involving the number 68, one of my favorites because for me and many of those I most treasure it is so full of symbolism and emotions, happy and sad, the ambivalence of graduating from a place where we loved being but which, thereafter, would belong to others; where we would ever after be honored guests, but guests just the same.

Now, I too am 68.

68, and its components, twice 34 and four times 17. Seventeen its only prime number and also a very good age, a senior at another place I deeply loved and left that year.

Not a happy day today though. It should be but the depredations that at the time of my birth the world thought overcome are not only still with us but perhaps, worse than ever, worse because of the reversal of roles, the former victims having become the victimizers and the oppressors, making one question even the history we were taught and once thought sacrosanct.

It’s difficult when the once admired not only turn out to have feet of clay but seem soulless and heartless as well. Hypocrisy and impunity reign.

Sad that the cinematic scene representative of our age is from one of the earliest color movies, a green woman, age difficult to determine, melting from a dousing with water, reflecting, in desperate tones: “what a world, … what a world”.
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, July 22, 2014; all rights reserved

On Putrescence: a Very Strange Ode for Very Strange Times

On Putrescence: a Very Strange Ode for Very Strange Times

Putrescence, a natural phenomenon, a cycle in the chain of life, it follows maturity that failed to produce and stayed around a bit more than perhaps it should. The word seems to have a visual onomatopoeic aspect, it looks like what it represents as well as sounding like what it is but perhaps that’s because the concept has melded to the word.

Or has it?

Putrescence in its metaphoric aspect represents not something in a normal state of evolution but something very wrong, something so negative only a metaphor will generate the required emotive response. Something unbearable. And that’s what its onomatopoeic component represents. A distortion of something fundamental to represent something disturbingly distorted.

This week, the third in July of 2014, for some reason brings the word to mind.
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© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2014; all rights reserved