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Page 103

Unready to be out of our heads,
pushed out, for example, by intolerable pain or
death (whoops -- did I drop that body?), we are
disoriented, cannot at first tell what we perceive
from what we now, so solidly, hallucinate --
our perceptions being our own, unrestricted
to what eyes can see; and our imaginings, too,
are unpent, no longer drowned out by the body's
amplified senses.

It can be terrifying to be out of our heads,
to be nothing, to be all these things
at once, to be wherever and whatever
we think of, we who have never had to
take responsibility for our thoughts
("Can't be blamed for thinking," we thought),
depending on our spongy bodies to absorb
and dampen them, turn our "I wish I was
dead" and "Let there be light!" and "More
ice cream NOW! and "I am the sun!" --

turning these unappealable, instantly-to-be-
obeyed commands to the universe, which is
what our native thoughts really are ["thought"
is too pale a word now, more tarnished silver
than gold, our sicklied ore] after trillennia of
our being stuck in bodies, where the sun
don't shine) -- turning our thoughts
to rueful wishes, our I'll to ill, intricate figuring
about what might be plausible,
explanations for failure.

Note: Calling thought our "sicklied ore" refers to a line somewhere in Shakespeare (a romantic title for a novel: "Somewhere in Shakespeare"), HAMLET, isn't it, that refers to resolution as being sicklied o'er with thought. And I, too, am an o'er – I owe a great deal to Shakespeare. (Or perhaps time runs the other direction, and he owed me a great deal.)

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