Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In those quiet moments of revelation (save for those ongoing sucking sounds):

"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." ~ Voltaire

"If God did exist, it would not be necessary to invent him." ~ Dada

Dental light in front of a poster on the ceiling directly above my hygienist's chair.

It's been many years now since, nodding towards the ceiling, I asked my dental hygienist during one of my semi-annual visits in a moment when my mouth wasn't full of rubber gloved fingers, mirror, dental pick and saliva suction tube, "Has anyone ever told you your poster up there reminds them of a near-death-experience?" Looking at it briefly, she surrendered a small laugh. Apparently no one ever had.

The poster is a series of pinnacles, each comprised of smaller and smaller pinnacles which, because they are fractals, are precisely identical to the larger ones.

I'm big on those because I sometimes ponder if the Universe isn't just this big fractal and we exist somewhere in the middle of an endless repeating pattern of a Mandelbrot set. Always I ponder it during every visit to my hygienist while having the depth of the pockets in my gums probed with a pointed metal object.

And so it was again yesterday, while cradled securely in the bosom of my hygienist, I once more stared up at the same ceiling image I'd studied last December. And just like then, my eyes were drawn up higher and higher by the poster's pinnacles stretching toward infinity at the very moment the little metal dental probe burrowed deeper and deeper inside the gum pockets beside teeth┌1 and ┌8 (both lower left).

It was at that point -- at the very depth of ┌8 lower left -- when my eyes beheld the fabled "light" of every near-death-experience. It was hovering just above those pinnacles like it does every visit. But yesterday, for the first time ever, the thought struck me: "What if God is like this big smiley face thing?"

It was at precisely that moment, with rubber gloved fingers, mirror, pointed metal probe and saliva suction tube in my mouth, I unavoidably laughed aloud, interrupting the procedure at its most sensitive moment.

It's a good thing my hygienist and I are friends, because she asked what my outburst was about out of curiosity instead of anger. After apologizing, saying I really couldn't help myself, I asked Carol, "Did you ever wonder if God's, you know, like this big man-made smiley face like thing?"

Just like several years before, she paused, and stared up.

I nervously awaited her reaction. Then she laughed!

Curiously, I got the sudden feeling I was in the middle of some big repeating pattern.


eProf2 said...

Nice post on ceiling posters. Funny, but I had my dental hygiene appointment today. Usual scraping, et cetera, but no ceiling poster to stare at and wonder if there is a God or some kind of repeating pattern to our existence. Too bad, I wasted a whole hour only concentrating on when my hygienist would be finished and my agony would be over for six more months.

dada said...

Thanks, eprof. I've gotten to where I look forward to my visits to the dentist's.

My hygienist and I see eye to eye on just about everything whereas my dentist (whom I have the greatest confidence in his competency) is a conservative, but we enjoy needling each other.

Fortunately, it's not often I have to schedule an appt. with him as he likes to say something provocative or a bit outrageous when he knows I can't respond, i.e., I have a mouth full of dentistry at the moment.

So, yesterday as he was checking the ivories and we were discussing the market, gas prices, his big SUV he uses to drive up to the mountains with, I remarked, "Oh, up to that beautiful second home in Ruidoso I'm helping you build?" We enjoy needling each other altho his are a bit more painful than mine.

Interesting you should have your appt. today! What the hell is this??!! I just remembered I went to a graduation party for a neighbor's son this afternoon. Her occupation? -- dental hygienist!

Oh yeh, it's just a big fractal, I forget.

Border Explorer said...

Groovy, man, groovy!

D.K. Raed said...

Now Dada, you know Forest Gump is the big smiley face. Maybe Forest Gump is God? And life really is a box of chocolates (too many of which will lead to more dental time contemplating fractals)?

ps, you should see the ceiling posters in a gynecologist's exam room (yes, ceiling).

dada said...

OMG! I never imagined. Well if there's posters above the hygienist's chair, why not above the OB-GYN's table?!

But I can't imagine what they might be. Maybe you should take a camera your next appt., take some pictures, and blog it!