The Fever Chart is the personal blog of Mark S. Gordon. The opinions expressed in posts are his alone. They may or may not be shared by friends, family, business associates, acquaintances, or others.
The purpose of The Fever Chart is to track manifestations of the sickness at the heart of our fallen culture, as well as progress under the treatment regimen prescribed by the Gospels. The Fever Chart’s point of view is Catholic, personalist, communitarian, distributist, and post-partisan.
The title of this blog is taken from the poem “East Coker” (Four Quartets), by T.S. Eliot. This fourth section of “East Coker” is a poetic meditation on the restorative work of Jesus Christ, the “wounded surgeon,” as mediated by the “dying nurse,” his Church.
The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.
Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.
The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.
The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
Mark Gordon is a partner in the consulting firm PathTree, which assists communities and organizations to become more resilient through the application of whole systems thinking. Mark is the former associate director of evangelization at St. Edmund’s/Enders Island, in Mystic, CT, where he founded the St. Michael Institute of Sacred Art and for seven years was the host and producer of Abound in Hope, a nationally syndicated Catholic radio program. Mark has written for various publications, including National Catholic Register, CIO Magazine, and Mars Hill Journal.