The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: June, 2014

June 17

I look at my phone and see the date June 17, no year, and think about the wonderful adaptation of memory loss — that the past does fade, that though the present may always be pregnant with the past, the past itself is less and less present itself as it goes farther back — and think of the terror I sometimes feel when I think about the passage of time, of how much time has gone between one moment in memory and Now, but think about how much greater that terror, that awe, that sorrow, would be if the total and full past was always there, always constant, so that when I look at the date June 17 on my phone, I see not only now, but June 17 a year ago, and June 17 two years ago, and three, and five, and seven, and twelve, and seventeen, yes, all the way back to June 17, 1997, when I was finishing up school, turning sixteen, getting ready for camp, getting my passport to get ready to go to Israel —

If that was the way we were, would we be strong enough for it, or would the loss of the past simply overwhelm us, utterly, completely, repeatedly, every moment of our lives?

Instead, with the toughened up and retrograde amnesia we call living, I look at June 17, and think, curious, there were other June 17s, and I think of last year’s, and that’s about the extent of it, and the sorrow of loss is brief, and small, and contained, and does not go further than it goes.

 

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Bloomsday 2014

[1] Telemachus

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: 

— Introibo ad altare Dei. 

Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called up coursely:

— Come up, Kinch! Come up, you fearful jesuit!

Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding country and the awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Stephen Dedalus, he bent towards him and made rapid crosses in teh air, gurgling in his throat and shaking his head. Stephen Dedalus, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured hair, grained and hued like pale oak. 

Buck Mulligan peeped an instant under the mirror and then covered the bowl smartly. 

— Back to barracks, he said sternly. 

He added in a preacher’s tone: 

— For this, O Dearly Beloved, is the genuine christine: body and soul and blood and ouns. Slow music, please. Shut your eyes, gents. One moment. A little trouble about those white corpuscles. Silence all. [transubstantiation of the host] 

He peered sideways up and gave a long slow whistle of call, then paused awhile in rapt attention, his even white teeth glistening here and there with gold points. Chrysostomos. Two strong shrill whistles answered through the calm. 

— Thanks, old chap, he cried briskly. That will do nicely. Switch off the current, will you? 

He skipped off the gunrest and looked gravely at hsi watcher, gathering about his legs the loose folds of his gown. The plumb shadowed face and sullen oval jowl recalled a prelate, patron of arts in the middle ages. The pleasant smile broke quietly over his lips. 

— The mockery of it! he said gaily. Your absurd name, an ancient Greek! 

 

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me—
nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.