Just the pre-op thing, as my go-slow prep has allowed me time for reflection on all sorts of stuff past and present. Stumbled on this in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, in Walter Kaufman’s splendid translation:
They are skillful and have clever fingers: why would my simplicity want to be near their multiplicity? All threading and knotting and weaving their fingers understand: thus they knit the socks of the spirit.
They are good clockworks; but take care to wind them correctly! Then they indicate the hour without fail and make a modest noise. They work like mills and like stamps: throw down your seed-corn to them and they will know how to grind it small and reduce it to white dust.
Socks of the spirit! We too easily miss how funny Nietzsche can be. This nails why I am writing my determinedly non-scholarly book on Beowulf. In a far smaller nutshell than my customary word-spray could ever manage.