Saturday, 20 March 2010

Milk of Lime, Flowers of Sulphur

Coleridge records an example of futility.  Nine years of collecting all manner of documents on some phenomena of magnetism and automagnetism and he is not one step further, by his own admission, in his understanding than when he read a certain work on the subject.  Beware!!  Beckett seems to think that terror furthers reason (in the terrified) and Coleridge doubts if disease can ever be cured.  He would fit perfectly in Bad Gurzbach.  One dies of a dog bite, which happened twelve years ago.  Poison, which has gone in rarely or never, goes out again really.  Who also died of old wounds?  Oh yes. Unity Mitford, Rudi Dutschke, but who else?  Sulphuretted hydrogen.  H2S as a gas is colourless and evil smelling and poisonous if inhaled in large quantities.  But what if the body is already pumped full of minerals, iron and sulphates (sulphuric acid without the hydrogen, replaced by metals) then when breathing a ferrous air it should be able to produce the gas by itself, poisoning itself from within gradually?  (From my dream of the night I recall only the phrase “replace the gold” – after my “Iron” dream of the weekend, now the gold, the reverse succession of the Hesiodic ages, a hint of alchemy)

The spring waters and the champagne air of the spa interact in a deadly fashion, but only gradually over a period of many years.  Add to that the presence of sulphurettted hydrogen in volcanic areas such as the extinct volcanic formation somewhere in the forest behind Bad Gurzbach’s rural outskirts in Kirdorf, then the likelihood of autotoxification increases.  The same waters used to treat liver cirrhosis etc are broken down by some locally patented procedure into salt cake – the first stage in the manufacture of washing soda, one of the few industrial products extracted, processed and refined without leaving the county.  Most of it is also used on the spot.  The chemical industry is full of such symbioses and antibioses of the organic and inorganic.  It is nothing unusual.  A popular detergent contains a water softener used for the treatment of osteoporosis and a borate found in timber preservatives.  Still, external state inspectors have cautiously warned against the overuse of the Bad Gurzbach springs, but the locals persist in drinking their sulphurous water.  As the water doesn’t cost anything this is always a temptation.  Besides if they were to stop drinking, word would spread and the whole cure economy would collapse.  They sometimes salivate yellowish foam, probably flowers of sulphur, soluble in hot water, when engaging in particularly long chats.  Their saliva is carbonated. 

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