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til that Theophrastus at least used the word "therapeia" to refer to cultivation of plants, which made me consider the word "cultivation." the word "therapy" ultimately derives from the ancient greek word for attendant, where as cultivation < PIE *kʷel-, "turn"—used in latin specifically to refer to tilling and agriculture. (*kʷel- is right there in agriCULTure too)—how something that is uncultivated, by extension, is low-class, uncivilized, wild

the ancient greek reflex of the same root gives us the prefix "tele-", acting at a distance, which is in complete contrast to the idea of attendant care in therapeia. because of course "cultivation" shouldn't be a prerequisite for caring for something, or for being cared for.

now imagining if "therapy" was the metaphor for how we interact with nature, instead of "cultivation"... we'd have a Department of Natural Therapy instead of a Department of Agriculture

the other reflex of *kʷel- in ancient greek is telos ("end")—cultivation and agriculture do have a specific telos (i.e., the total domination or taming of nature) whereas therapy I think is thought of as non-telic, by nature cooperative and continuous without a specific endpoint

Allison Parrish @aparrish

(all of this inspired by like one page in Leggott's "Reading Zukofsky's 80 Flowers" btw, thank you mastodon for letting me pretend that I know literally anything about classics for a few minutes every once in a while)

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