Monday, September 11, 2017

J.D. Salinger wrecks my nap

J.D. Salinger
My nap schedule was interrupted today when I got hooked on a television biography of J.D. Salinger, the quasi-reclusive author of "Catcher in the Rye" among other works. What was it that dragged me to just-five-more minutes and then five minutes more?

Salinger was born in 1919 and died in 2010. He participated in World War II and came away what he was throughout the war -- a writer. He was very particular about his works. Changing even a comma in a manuscript was grounds for fury. He loved his works, his creations, his world. And he was blessed and cursed with frequently-cheering people who agreed with his outlook: There was something sublime and elevated about the world in which he lived ... the world in which they lived. Do we call it "culture?"

And it was this, I think, that sucked me in -- the holiness of creating and culture and elevation. It was a world I grew up in and never really understood as a child. A very god among the gods. But what does a kid know about gods except ... the anguish of distance.

It's slipping away now, I suspect -- that pervasive agreement about what is good and cultured and widely agreed to. Good writing. Good art. Good music. A cloud of wonder high, high in the sky. If we all agree, then it must be so.

Strange to think that so many of those who disdained God nevertheless enthroned their own god. Perhaps it is just a human need -- to hook up with the high and mighty and proclaim a belonging and warmth and blessing within that fold.

Watching the TV, I could see a bit more clearly the insanity I sensed as a child -- the reason I might be set aside in favor of god.

But I am not pointing the finger solely at the arts. I really do sense that it's an adult pastime ... the selection of a very god of very gods .... the one that is big, bigger, biggest ... the Vatican among lesser churches.

My mother had such a church. She had friends like Carson McCullers and Truman Capote who had similar churches. My father longed to join a similar church... and thought he might join when emulating the icy realms of James Joyce.  But there's no faking it in the world or a demanding god.

Later in life, I would read a lot of books, partially as a means of making peace with the god whose lash I grew up with. Salinger seemed unutterably lonely and yet lonely with only one escape route before him -- the route still deeper into loneliness and demand and very god of very gods.

I watched the show and missed my nap and am forced to admit I have been tarred by the brush with which I tar others ... not the greatness part, but the glory and the magic and the music of it all. No doubt it was responsible for the few times I came close to killing some helpful art expert who offered to 'explain' a work of art.


  1. I can be swept away now and again. But I'm losing the ability to nap. Pain interferes, a neuropathic problem. Gabapentin can dampen it, but it also causes aphasia and who knows what other mental destructions, so the doctors won't prescribe it. The only nerve dampener left is scotch, which I will avail myself of at night time, desperate to sleep. But I won't do it in the day time, so naps are out, and quiet pain is in. Oh well.

    1. Lyrica bad for you too?
      Topical creams with Cayenne, Diclofenac Sodium, or Lidocaine tried and ruled out?
      Have you talked about / researched the reduction of inflammation in general?
      For example my cardiologist says he believes (he actually said it's well known) that there is a connection between water retention and neuropathic pain. He strongly recommends leg elevation and compression stockings as well My neurologist just raised his eyebrows and said "Really?" Diuretics prescriptions are pretty cheap, natural diuretics are easy to find using a decent search engine. Most lnatural diaretics ike lemons are relatively inexpensive.
      Hope you blood sugar isn't a problem, but, if it is, work on it.

  2. Genkaku,

    Thanks for the JD Salinger bio flick heads up.

  3. My blood sugar is fine. I was taking a diuretic for my blood pressure until I acquired diuretic induced gout, adding an alternative BP med and allopurinol to my regimen. I take the anti-inflammatory meloxicam for arthritis. But my issues stem from my spine grinding bone on bone in a few places, wrecking nerve delivery here and there. But thanks for the concern.