Rediscovered

Prompt: Grow Up


Dear Wednesday,

No one grows up voluntarily.

Most of us are dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood— we resist and rebel, until we discover that it’s probably in our best interest to behave in a way that doesn’t completely alienate us, since we need jobs and roofs and sandwiches and fleece jackets and someone to warm our bed.

We learn to like power in whatever form we can wield it, the breathlessness of intimacy, and the indescribable joy when a challenge is met and overcome. We learn the contentment of ceding to biology and brushing our hair until it shines, throwing our body over our child to protect it, and lusting with purpose and deliberation.

Our young selves never disappear though, do they? They hang around inside us like a dinner guest that has outstayed their welcome, maybe wanting one more coffee or a glass of wine and another piece of cake. Needy, sometimes. Reckless, other times. And sometimes, our inner young self is the guest who brings up that humiliating moment we’d rather stayed hidden and suppressed.

While our young inner self lives in hope of having long unfulfilled needs met, our adult self lives in hope that everything will make sense someday; that insight slowly creeping into our consciousness like liquid spilling through floorboards, that the purpose of life is not success, children, power, love, god— but to somehow, sometime, make sense of it all.

Related to the theme of growing up, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon good or slut

cartoon spoil presidency

cartoon rediscovered


Love, peace and bon temps,

~~FP

Hurray for Science and Scientists

Prompt: Epitome

Epitome database

 

This illustration of Epitome, a database of structurally inferred antigenic epitopes in proteins, i.e., known antigenic residues and the antibodies that interact with them, including a detailed description of residues involved in the interaction and their sequence/structure environments, is for me the epitome of specialized science: opaque, brilliant, obscure, necessary, esoteric, and curious. Scientists from all over the world contributed (and still do?) to this epitome.

This is not a criticism or a joke. How I would love to have a Masters in Bioinformatics with Systems Biology, for example, instead of being a good speller and able to do some crosswords in pen, and the fact I once made a serious and unlikeable woman laugh, and can draw a little, and studied geophysics once, also religious studies, children’s lit, and kinesiology. My life is a failure, as far as specialized science goes.

I know enough to know that I hardly know anything at all. And I know that because I don’t understand this science, or parts of it might be unpleasant or scary, doesn’t mean I can dismiss it. I believe in believing the experts. Hear that, climate-change deniers?

 

Epitopes

Schematic representation of two antibodies interacting with linear and conformational epitopes.
[Converted to a poem by me]

a.

Linear epitopes
are short and continuous
like dachshunds.
After denaturation
the linear epitopes may still
be able to
bind
the antibody.
I have hope.


b.

Conformational epitopes
are domains
of proteins
composed of specific regions of
protein chains.
Never alone.
After denaturation
the discontinuous epitope
can no longer
bind
the antibody.

Love conquers all.