What’s in a myth. What’s in a medicine.
I’ve always been attracted to tales of our bodies that played out like dramas. The Fantastic Voyage, and countless comic book takes on that story – of the life and narratives inside our bodies. The machine like forms, the stage of conflict between invading bacteria and the antibody sentinels of our own castles.
Of course myths of war don’t interest me. War is old and boring, the domain of terrorists and flailing nations, wouldn’t you agree?
For me the interesting myths are about conjurers and goddesses. Arising, acting, opening the sky, splitting seas, conjuring bodies, healing, and making the world over.
We are sold a particular story about what medicines are, about how science works. That it is the cold impassive work of corporations. That science is the reduction of the natural world, and that what happens is the result of the serious but adventure-less work of boring people.
But I have always thought of Carl Sagan’s words:
“If we are merely matter intricately assembled, is this really demeaning? If there’s nothing here but atoms, does that make us less or does that make matter more?”
I see science as the synthesizing and creation of possibilities out of the world we inhabit. Conjuring. A more democratic and pragmatic form of conjuring than in any old myths to be sure, but far from devoid of a kind of ‘magic.’
And thus emerges a tale of Ranibizumab. A hero, a god, or just a medicine. If one can tell the difference. Because as a painter, I can imagine nothing worse than contemplating the loss of sight.