Friday, February 11, 2005

Etymological Excursion

It is not enough to cover the rock with leaves.
We must be cured of it by a cure of the ground
Or a cure of ourselves, that is equal to a cure

Of the ground, a cure beyond forgetfulness. . . .
-“The Rock” Wallace Stevens

Yesterday’s word was freedom. Today’s word is security. We Americans feel insecure. Thus, we need more security—homeland security, national security, social security, the training of Iraqi security forces. Secure is the position of a rifle or musket held so that it will not accidentally fire. From the Latin cūra, meaning care, so that to be secure is to be without (se-) care. I am lucky, mostly, but I do not feel secure. I have insecurities even though I have daycare for my son, healthcare for myself and for my family, people who care about me and send care packages occasionally. Most people are without care, and many do not care nor do they feel secure. It is possible that if you do not care, if you are without care, then you will not feel secure. Private social security accounts are not secure; they are subject to fluctuations in the securities market. Many of our elderly people are not properly cared for. They are put in a place where people who are paid to care, paid very little usually, do not or cannot care for them. It hurts us, but we can only care so much. To care too much is to be codependent, to have improper boundaries, to not properly secure oneself against the impingements of other cares. I’m not sure if there if there is a cure for this. But the words sure and cure are, I’m sure, related to the words security and care. Are you sure you care? Can you secure care against the future? Will there be a cure for insecurity? Can you be sure?


Unknown said...


Unknown said...

er, I don't have your email. Will you drop me a line so I can talk to you about the date forthe reading?