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The Wonder of It All - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
The Wonder of It All
This happened about an hour ago. I was sitting at my keyboard, copying the text I just wrote into my LJ client over to a Writely document, because I decided it needed to sit some more before I make it public, when Skylar surprised me from behind. I nearly fell out of my chair.

"What's wrong, sweetie?" She didn't look particularly distressed. "My arms feel tight." I asked her to show me where, but she had a hard time pinning down the precise location. I rubbed her arms and shoulders for a minute and pursued my inquiry further. She'd been reading at JW Tumbles. "What position were you in?" She was laying on the rug in the hall demonstrating when Kim walked up. "I had to sneak by your door, mom"

As Bean was finishing her restorative drink of "hobbit water" -- the bottles from New Zealand they sell at Trader Joe's -- she started talking about how difficult it is to describe the taste of it. "I think of it as cool and refreshing," Kim said. But that didn't put Skylar's mind to rest.

On the way to bed, she continued to restate the problem. When Kim told her it could become a preoccupation of her philosophy, Skylar said she wouldn't be able to match Wittgenstein. Kim said something encouraging about being a girl and a philosopher. Skylar brightened. "That would be hard for Wittgenstein too, describing the taste of water." While Kim was tucking her in, I replied that it was the sort of problem that would have interested him a lot.

As I bent down for a bedtime kiss, Skylar adopted a netural tone and remarked that, "A newborn child has no teeth. A goose has no teeth. A rose has teeth." Then she paused. "But a rose has teeth in the mouth of a beast."

I played her quite a few songs off my iPod Shuffle on the drive home from art camp two weeks ago. Old Red has no CD player, you see, ruling out another reprise of The Carpenters' greatest hits. I'm pretty shocked that Matmos made such a deep impression on her. I sure do love her. What a brain she has!

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4 comments or Leave a comment
sisterblister83 From: sisterblister83 Date: August 19th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
i would love for your daugther to join the ranks of the girl thinkers. has she been introduced to arendt yet?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 19th, 2006 10:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Not yet. I've been on a Wittgenstein kick lately. She knows him, Nietzsche, and Foucault. She also knows that Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard were philosophers, although she hasn't seen their photos. Since I remain in the thrall of post-Lacanain feminism, she will one day learn of my mentors Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, and Kaja Silverman.
abominari From: abominari Date: August 20th, 2006 10:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
A few years ago my journal imploded and for a while became the home of a single thirty-something mother with an outlandishly intelligent young son named Custer.

Your entries about Skylar remind me a lot of the Custer entries, except that Custer was merely a vehicle to write unfiltered ideas and opinions and process them through a mother character that was something of a mix between Eric Cartman's mother and Josey Aimes of North Country. Skylar actually exists, in the flesh.

This gives me hope for the future.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 20th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's great. I suppose that a radical postmodernist would claim that I'm inventing Skylar as well. But I hold on to the belief that the line between fiction and non-fiction matters. I shape the stories I tell about her, obviously, but I don't make the content up. Of course, a lot of the details I share are no doubt the result of the way we interact with her to an extent, which means that the shaping is going on in the realm of non-fiction as well. She's really, really smart, which makes her more susceptible to the doings and thinkings of the adults in her life. What impresses me most about her is her ability to think abstractly about topics that most people confine to the concrete. Anyway, good to hear from you.
4 comments or Leave a comment