Tuesday, October 25, 2005

gut ache

Most folks I know have a hard time with conflict. Today I received a strongly worded, pissed off e-mail from an acquaintance. It was based on a simple misunderstanding, and I called the person up, and cleared it up. But I still feel a gnawing ache in my gut. It won't go away. In fact, it seems to be getting worse. It's in the space just below my rib cage, just above my abdomen, just a little bit below the skin of my belly. It feels like a hole. I've felt this feeling many, many times, always in the same place, almost always after a sour interaction with someone else. It seems to just stick around until it's ready to go, like a cold. I can nurse it, but it has t run its course.

I've read recently that there's a physiological correlation for everything human's experience. I've long felt emotions in this space in my abdomen. Has anyone studied this place in the body? I've long suspected that it's the center of my soul.

Today I went for a long run. I was thinking about stories, the actual structure and phenomenon of them, the way they're impressions of time driven by conflict, struggle, suffering and lead, one usually hopes, to resolution and joy. And I wondered if suffering is one of the many extra dimensions physicist say exist in our universe. I thought as I ran along on this lovely fall day, I wonder if these other dimensions, at least one or two of them, are emotions, struggle, the stuff of story, that which defines, in many ways, our relation to time.

And maybe this makes me sound as though I'm back on drugs, but it's just an interesting notion to play with.

Like, we're in a three-dimensional world. And Einstein says time is a fourth dimension, and that's fairly easy to comprehend. But what about all these other dimensions they say exist -- as many as 12 or 13, according to the string theorists. What on earth might those be like? How could we possibly begin to comprehend those?

One way physicists try to describe other dimensions is to imagine how a being in a two-dimensional world would experience a three-dimensional object. A ball, for instance. They say they would experience a ball as a circle that expands and contracts. Can you picture that? A ball experienced as many succeeding two-dimmensional cross sections of itself? An expanding and contracting circle?

Maybe that's how we experience these other dimensions, if they do actually exist. I thought, as I ran, maybe suffering or ecstacy or whatever is those other dimensions. We cant see them in their totality, just experience them as these clouds of sensation that pass through in ways that seem at times to be mysterious, but which ultimately drive and define our relationship to time.

Anyway, it was just a crazy long thought I had while running. And recounting it here kind of eases the wounded feeling I have because of my little e-mail conflict, which, in the big scheme of things, won't amount to anything, but still has me utterly captivated for the moment, in the worst way.

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