Philosophy as convalescence

We went to see the osteopath, an Australian woman whose hands inched up and down my spine, her fingers performing a manual X-ray, feeling her way through the skin to the bones beneath.

‘It can’t be anything too bad,’ she said. ‘If it was, you’d be in agony.’

‘I am in agony,’ I said, but not the kind of agony she had in mind. It was possible I had cracked a vertebra but that was all and even if I had cracked a vertebra there was nothing to be done about it anyway. It was the same with Laura and her ribs: even if her ribs were cracked all she could do was wait for them to get better. Reassured, we shuffled back home, Laura holding her ribs and me with my chin resting in my right had, supporting it. To everyone else on the island it looked like I was deep in thought, wrestling with philosophical problems, when all I was doing was trying to bear the awful weight of my head — which, on reflection, is what all philosophical thought comes down to anyway: how to bear the awful weight of your head.

— Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence

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