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A Woman's Journal


The Clash of the Titans

By Maggie Turner

October 27, 1999

The Clash of the Titans

I hurt my back this morning. It was only a sneeze, the sneeze that shook the world. It shook my world at least, I don't think you felt it.

To combat boredom and to try to accomplish something with this day in spite of my condition, I have managed to retrieve my aging laptop from the bowels of the closet.

I haven't had this computer out of the closet for a while. I must have been working on configuring it, and didn't finish the job. All the software freezes at startup. I can't even get the text editor up and running. After hours of restarts and adjustments I have located the culprit and disabled it. All is well. Now I can write. I wish I had taken care of this while I was vertical, horizontal troubleshooting is quite a challenge.

I am lying flat on my back in bed, pecking away slowly at the keyboard of the laptop. It is heavy on my chest. The keys are hard to find from this awkward position. The writing is painfully slow. My chest hurts. All the same, I continue my pecking.

If I look up and out of the window from the bed I can see treetops, swaying autumn leaves and blue sky. It is peaceful and pretty. I seldom notice this so I am enjoying it while I can.

Beside me on the bed is a book I am reading. It is the biography of an author I admire. She is dead now. I never met her. It occurs to me that I will not meet many authors while lying on my back in this bed.

The heating pad feels good.

As I write my hands become increasingly familiar with the keyboard from this awkward angle. I am picking up speed. It provides me with the illusion that I am moving along, progressing. I am laughing because there is nowhere that I want to go. My mind will continue its perpetual motion regardless of the body's vantagepoint.

This form of logic is leading me toward one of my downward spirals. I blame logic and insight. Logic, on its own, is a tool that may be turned to any task. Insight, once achieved, is a pleasure and a burden. The two, logic and insight, possessed in large quantities in the vessel of one soul are a deadly combination. Logic, being limited by the confines of perception and vulnerable to the unconscious motives of its master, attempts to harness insight and train it to a linear path. Insight, of necessity, is a wild and tempestuous gift. A gift that is, at best, partial. A gift that cannot be quantified, analyzed or verified. Insight cannot help but frustrate logic. Logic cannot help but stifle insight.

You see what I mean about the downward spiral? The clash of my internal Titans, although fascinating for me, is not the stuff of legend.

Tomorrow is another day.


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