Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Who has a pencil? And some paper?

Recently I have been dumstruck, feeling the heavy weight of memory. Memory is a tricky thing. Here are some others: why the pressing urgency to go home that silenced me when surrounded by people; the plane that transited the 3 centimeter billions between l'unghia di dio and venus just at dusk to the southwest over the square; why is 6 miles above the earth at night a monastic, churning state in which i am reeling with voicelessness and the realization that i am, probably, a loser? Speech and memory cannot be separated. This is because the ontology of memory requires testament. I'm somewhat in to ontology. Speechlessness means that memory is free falling. What then will ground us? And we become losers.

I pulled Confessions from the bookcase tonight, knowing when I put it in a box to bring it to Cambridge that this time would come. Augustine and I would have this conversation:

me (P): bitterly cold, eh? never crisper. some moon, ya? do you know about the universe?

Augustine (A): the universe? yes, i know about it.

P: they know where it stops now, you know.

A: do they?

P: well, i imagine they do. what can i get you?

A: a fine, dark ale; round, blurred, but viscous.

P: well said. you have a knack for that, don't you?

A: it has been written.

P: let me ask you Augustine: was god in carthage?

A: you know, they know where the universe stops now.

P: except that all the same, there isn't just one anymore.

A: not just one? my teachers spoke of spheres...aethers.

P: right, right. spheres and aethers. and the...the...thing; the...

A: the fluid which drags the stars.

P: that's it.

A: no, god was in rome.

P: still is.

A: Monica used to say that.

P: yeah?

A: oh yes. what about the universe?

P: no, no. the universe, however many or one there is,
is not what i would like to know.

A: don't cry for me. the more you weep the less it's worth it.

P: wow. put in a fortune cookie.

A: the less you weep, the more you need to.

P: i can't speak.

A: you're a bastard.

P: no, seriously. i can't speak. there is no thread. one of your successors (well, a Berliner) made sophistries on feeling, thinking, knowing and doing. he was a lounge rat, and didn't have much to do on a day to day basis but you can see his concern.

A: ah, yes. i said to god let me recognize you as you have recognized me.

P: beware the freefall!

A: achtung! yes, you must find the ground.

P: i know where the ground is. i have fallen to it; it has consumed me.

A: be lofty, you are meant for free fall if you know the ground.

P: i am earth-bound; and i get nervous when in a plane.

A: speak, then.

P: i have tried this. i would rather drop hints again and again and again.

A: you're a sucker.

P: i would like to think not.

A: you must fall and rise to fall again. there are ends to things.

P: what things?

A: all things.

P: i can't speak!

A: you ought to seriously consider a remedy.

P: what about this recognition?

A: it's not enough. it was christ who descended in order that he should rise again. imagine if he had just shrugged and said, yeah, i get it. good game, guys.

P: do you have soccer?

A: in the academic sense. we call it hannibal's magic 8.

P: that's quirky. put it on a bar sign.

A: i will consider that. you should go speak now.

P: i will consider that. what binds all this to the pain in my gut?

A: it's up for grabs.

P: come on now. really? you don't mean that.

A: you are confusing scales.

P: yes, i'm prone to do that. but it's reasonable, right? isn't it a freefall?

A: no, it is an orbit.

P: no, it's quantum.

A: even quanta must be given shape. something must endow it with agency.

P: i would like to orbit. i would like to reach and grab on to something.

A: you already are orbiting. you have been recognized. but remember the scale of things. you are earthbound.

P: i know it. it is churning.

A: speak.