Spoken Word

Despite a fear of crowds, last Monday I got up in front the crowd at the poetry reading at Spoken Word, a weekly poetry reading in Paris.

Its fantastic, one of the best things I’ve done while I’ve been here.

I was asked a few times if I was going to read, and my adamant reply was that I really don’t like getting up in front of crowds and reading.  Presentations I can do, but I’m not such a fan of reading the written word.

But, I just couldn’t resist this week’s theme: boundaries.  My thesis is basically on boundaries (my dad says I don’t have a good “elevator story” with my thesis, that is if you get in a elevator with someone and push the button for the sixth floor, you can tell them the gist of the paper before we arrive at our destination.). Well, its actually about a lot of things.

I was really close to chickening out, and allowing my nerves to get the better of me. But then Garrison Keillor told me not to.  Every morning I listen to the Writer’s Almanac, read by Garrison Keillor, and it happened to be around Galileo, which is the part of my thesis that I was going to read from. Garrison Keillor is my homeboy.


I found it encouraging.

So, voila; an except of my thesis and what I read at Spoken Word.

Science reveals the truth of the natural world. Science uses reason to access this truth, and is therefore limited in its attachment to objects.  The Church that attacked Galileo for the revelation of the truth behind heliocentrism had no concept that the empirical truth is separate from God’s truth.

Galileo had no intention of replacing religion with science.  He believed that the truth w/in God was the absolute allegorical truth, and not all aspects of the Bible should be taken literally.  Galileo says:

though Scripture cannot err, its expounders and interpreters are liable to err in many ways…when they would base themselves always on the literal meaning of the words.  For in this wise not only many contradictions would be apparent, but even grave heresies and blasphemies since then it would be necessary to give God hands and feet and eyes, and human and bodily emotions such as anger, regret, hatred, and sometimes forgetfulness of things past, and ignorance of the future.

God created a rational universe left to be discovered by man. Galileo’s contemporaries believed that the material universe ended at the borders of the earth.  But Galileo pushed the borders of the material world out towards the sun.  Consequentially, this questioned the location of God.  Throughout mythology, God is watching over earth from the heavens.  But if the heavens are a part of the material world, then where is God?

As someone fascinated by health care, I often think about America’s problems of obesity.  Science attributes the obesity epidemic to overconsumption of calories paired with under-activity. While this is all true, science cannot go beyond calorie counting and exercise logs and ask the questions why and how.  America is so concerned with the number of calories that people tend to forget what a calorie means.  Each calorie is nourishment; indirect energy from the sun feeding our bodies.  Except for clinical trials that have yet to be preformed, science cannot tell us that the tomato grown in the garden is better than a tomato grown in the lab.  Knowledge of what is right, on the other hand, can easily give us insight into the fact that a tomato made by God is inherently better than a tomato made by man.  The natural tomato has the spirit of God, and this is something no scientist can test.

“Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Methinks my body is but the lees of my better being. In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me.”  ~ Moby Dick


3 thoughts on “Spoken Word

  1. I’m proud of you Lili! Sometimes its hard to get up in front of a crowd and bare your soul. Good for you. Did you read it in French?

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