Bits of text

Benjamin is busy doing something.

Only

And what was that scar situated from afar?
And what was that light integrated in your mind?

1. This is what Adam had: it was never that he would go to hell, but only that he would be forever without Her — it is not good for man to be alone, and nothing else, he must have thought, is not-good, and therefore he must have known that it is better to lie down in resolved revelry in the star-lit twilight than to burn in shame under the cold, cold sun.

2. This is the heart of man: it is not labour, it is not complexity; it is beautiful bathos, it is the laying down of the sword at the end of the day, it is the last embers of that decadent, defiant fire, the last togetherness and aloneness before they woke up to the hard searchlight of the eternal, the last time they were together and alone, the last time she would feel pain, never to be seen again, the last time she would know that there can be no mercy without suffering, no beauty without pain (for nothing is beautiful but when it is lost).

3. Blessed is he who has seen the heavens and turned them down for the earth, the air, the fire, the water, for it is in all these that heaven is to be found.  Blessed is he who has seen the cobblestone and the brick and the safety-lights and known that there lies heaven beyond it: for there is no good but when there is sorrow.  And thus it is that sorrow is the purest form of being, for in it lies the purest good, the altercation and the redeemed.

Interval

You’re my Sunday
make my Monday
come alive

Just like Tuesday
you’re a new day
wakes [sic] me up

Wednesday’s raining
Thursday’s yearning
Friday nights

Then it all ends
at the weekend
you’re my star.

1. Much of music sounds simple when stripped of its context.  But there is something to be said about naive simplicity, or deliberate parochialism, or innocent parochialism.  For earnestness draws attention to itself; the masses love the desperation of honesty, and in so doing elevate it, and thus bring it to heights of grace from which it may fall in beautiful fire, and make even the last man weary, and make him lie down and imagine what it must be like to love as man does in the face of death, and smile and face the here-and-now, not in sudden solipsism, but rather in the joy of the parochial and the beauty of the simplicity that is gained by shutting oneself out from the greater universe.

2. For down there there is lameness, but there is the one “best part”, the one, the bit which, as a duller rose among thorns, makes one suddenly aware of the audience of the universe and brings one to slightly higher heights, from which one may look on proudly, as a poor man on his deathbed does, and bring oneself back to life.  It is like sheer drunkenness, which sets up an entire bubble-universe of meaning and makes the lights to dance around it, though God may look on and laugh.  It is what clothes madness in the beauty of time and, paradoxically, by driving all away, creates what is when none can exist.

3. And then he runs out of fuel, and, too, falls gently from his little height, and sees that it is as they said it would be, and glimpses the looming, but knows that it is already time to rest.  And that is, until the next working-day and the next lunch break and the next 4 p.m. and the next hour until the train, all that matters.

Regards.

Containers

1. The shot-glass is a misleading institution, for though it appears to facilitate the rapid consumption of a liquid, we would submit that its utility lies only in measurement and impressing upon the drinker the delicacy of the beverage (for it is so small as to call attention to its smallness).

2. For vodka, whiskey, etc. do not exist merely as a mechanism of delivery for ethanol; even if they do not taste ‘nice’ per se (whatever that may mean), they must carry communicative value, and are therefore to be, if not enjoyed or appreciated, at least read, though the content be bad (for bad beverages are not to be consumed at all).

3. Again, though the shot-glass may exist for measurement, it should only do so insofar as it facilitates precise mixing or monitoring. More generally, the size of any container of a comestible, such as a disposable plastic bowl of bean curd or a plate of chicken rice, should not be read as dictating that a certain quantity be consumed; it is, first and foremost, merely a container.

4. For the utility gained by consumption eventually becomes a function of something other than volume; it is only at the lowest levels of subsistence that we gulp rather than read.

Establishment

1. The act of passing a building by means other than that of a motor vehicle is sobering: for travel in a vehicle is a series of elisions, and the movement of a vehicle simplifies space into axes of movement, as the urban planner would have it; but movement on foot is a series of meetings and passings, for it is slow compared to the scale of buildings.

2. In particular, the act of running past a building is an especially sobering one, for only when doing so can one truly appreciate the extent to which a building is fundamentally a solemn object — it is solemn because it is stationary, and it is quiet, and, though people come and leave, the building is always there.  For walking is as quiet, but running is both active and silent — it is swift as the wind that sweeps back one’s hair, but it is as quiet as a heartbeat and a series of steps which, if one’s form is good, are crisp and only barely heard.  It is only when one has to exert physical effort to make a movement that one grasps fully the fact that the building does not move — a building seen from below moves you; but it itself does not move.

3. If the building stands alone, it commands attention by itself.  But a cluster of buildings also commands respect, by virtue of the fact that it is not navigable save step-by-step, without knowledge of a plan greater than the naked eye can see; it is a complexity instituted by one who has a map and sophisticated equipment, that he/she may shape human behaviour as easily as one lays down Lego blocks.  And so it is that every step poses a fresh dilemma — is one to continue movement along the fixed axis, or defy the system of blocks merely by doing what is not physically impossible?  Whereas happy is he/she who travels using a vehicle and has only to obey direction.

4. Whereas the runner, stripped down to engaging in that most primal method of locomotion, wearing and carrying no more than is absolutely necessary, comes to regard each passing feature in terms of the feeling from running past it, then running away from it while approaching the next one, and so on, regarding each as both a target to be conquered and a terrible milestone to be anticipated, and thus enters into communion with Establishment — that which has been founded by beings much smaller than itself, and now stands unchanging forevermore, and will outlive even he who has directed that it be established.

 

Articles

1. Every person has a residence; every student a set of notes; every company an audit committee.  And so the world is full of small localised narratives and blobs of pride: but each of these things is only “a person”, “a student”, “a company” — as is a book “a book”, or a pin “a pin”, or a hat “a hat”.  So the indefinite article instantiates encapsulated forms.  It is somewhat funny how object-oriented programming mirrors reality in this respect, for it is amusing to institutionalise this way of looking at things.

2. The definite article, in comparison, seems finicky — “the potatoes”, “the bathroom”, “the towel”.  “The” is an act of defiance, a wilful suspension of the knowledge of good and evil and the vastness of reality.  “The” is a sad word; “a”, on the other hand, is a creator of Life.  Only God may use “the” to create — “the heavens and the earth”; “the waters”, “the wild animals”.  In a sense, one could see the vast majority of instances of “the” as controlled bubbles of blasphemy.

3. These are some of the reasons why I like possessive pronouns in comparison.

The heart of man

1. When one communicates with an organisation — a firm, or a government body, for instance — one writes a letter, and, a few days later, one receives a letter.  The deliberations of the organisation — though they be between different staff members, they are deliberations only of the body — remain hidden.  And so it must be with the heart of man — one may go through elation, pain, panic, calm, but none of these  must be revealed: for it is better to send forth an occasional spark of brilliance than to put on display the internal processes that risk being seen as lame by virtue of their sheer intricate honesty — consider the delight with which one may devour a leaked classified document in spite of its brutal necessity, notwithstanding that no action can be taken in response thereto.

2. Yet let not communication be a series of performances, though it be an act choreographed, rehearsed, and performed: only exercise temperance, for once the heart is made clear, command and control are in danger of being relinquished.

3. Nonetheless, extremely rare is the friend or lover who will appreciate the gravity, the unglamorousness, of information, processes, and practices intended for internal circulation only: and extremely powerful, too, is such a person, for he/she has the terrible power to destroy utterly and to build up again.

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