On Friday my mom told a story about how, sometime last fall, while cooking in the kitchen, my Dad exclaimed that suddenly he could no longer find his favorite kitchen knife. They looked high and low, but couldn't find it anywhere. Just this past week, she finally found the knife, which had somehow fallen underneath the stove. It was one of those moments where she ached to tell him the ending to the story.
I suspect we all have this human tendency, the ache of wanting to continue talking to our loved ones after they die.
Ever since my Dad started having liver procedures, I have wanted to write a poem, an ode to the liver, which I've wanted to share with him, although it has always seemed to me like his mind was tuned so much further outward than deeply inward, in the visceral sense, at least.
For now I am just loosely gathering information about the liver, the still-unexplored universe within us. Here, for example, is an article about new methods that now allow scientists to separate out individual cells and find out what kind of activity is happening within each individual cell, as applied to the liver. This method and associated discoveries are pretty incredible because they take us even further beyond earlier discoveries that indicated that the liver is not simply a homogeneous mass, but a set of interconnected, coordinating, specialized cells. Instead, these new methods reveal that even further subdivision and specialization are present; a veritable internal galaxy.https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1373-2
Your liver is an orchestra, a symphony of activity, transforming energy for storage and for use. It has remarkable abilities to regenerate, but when it fails us, it fails in a profoundly different way than other louder organs like our heart, our stomach, our minds. Its failure can seem quiet, but is catastrophic, and so it takes a different form of listening to hear it.This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1313023.html. Please comment there using OpenID.