I listened to a tape by David Whyte a couple of days ago and it had an idea inside it, that I found interesting.
He tells a story about a time when he went to Stuttgart as a young man.
Frankly, the story itself seems very far-fetched to me.
But he is trying to make a point about the German word “Nachbarschaft” which literally translates into neighborhood, but apparently has much stronger connotations in German than in English.
He stays is a middle-class neighborhood and everyone there hangs their duvet out on their balconies in exactly the same fashion.
So he washes his socks and proceeds to dry them out on the balcony. Only fifteen minutes later, a delegation of neighbors shows up on his doorstep, demanding to know what these socks are doing out there, messing up the order of duvets.
And he could feel, as he sais, the whole immune system of the neighborhood, trying to restore peace and order.
I was fascinated by this idea, that a neighborhood, or any group of people for that matter could have, or represent an immune system.
(Of course, an immune system that reacts to a pair of drying socks may be called somewhat allergic.)
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