Day: April 10, 2014

Nathan & Miss Pettigrew

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The first thing that little Nathan did when he found out about “school” was attempt to discover the origin of the word itself. Collections of letters intrigued him far more than groups of people. In fact, he found people to be alien and awkward — something which shouldn’t be there but which, through a freak of nature, happened to be so. The strangest thing of all was the way that the expressions on their faces and the words they spoke were totally at odds with the exploded diagram of their thoughts which he could see around them. This was a mystery. How was it possible for words and body language to misrepresent their source? Through this he was able to understand that there was a schizoid basis to the social life of what seemed like the whole of humanity (though at his age he thought of it like a fork in the road fighting to be brought together again). To be human seemed to involve having a fundamental divide between an inner and outer being. He saw it in his parents. He saw it in their friends. He saw it in his friends; and, to his horror, he saw it in himself — which was a major catalyst in the deepening of his insight. Observing his parents and their friends, not one of them ever spoke their heart (unless they were drunk, in which case it came out as some kind of slurred insult or emotional wallowing). They seemed to be cut off from themselves, living only as a vague cloud of cobbled-together emotions and whims. In some small sense, they partially knew what they felt inwardly but it never occurred to them to match that knowledge with what they expressed outwardly and it never seemed to them that their outward expressions contradicted their inner thoughts and feelings. At that tender age, it had not occurred to him that there were also many for whom the inner life had become so removed that in fact it no longer existed. That discovery still awaited him.

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