|A monster made of hundreds of tiny triangles|
Friday, August 12, 2022
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
In yesterday's post, "Many sparrows, again, and various other sync links," I noted how Debbie's comment about the etymology and meanings of knock made me think of the expression "Don't knock it till you've tried it," and how a version of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" I had recently listened to had included instrumentals taken from the P!nk song "Try," featuring the refrain, "You've gotta get up and try, try, try."
That post also dealt in passing with Jesus' childhood (the legend of his bringing clay sparrows to life). I've also been working on a post (not very long, but constantly delayed by sync interruptions) about forgiveness and how Heaven will be populated by former sinners. These two thoughts made me ask the question of whether Jesus had always been "perfect," even as a child, and whether my reluctance even to ask such a question was a sign that on some level I was uncomfortable with the idea that anyone could ever become divine who had not always been so.
This, in turn, made me think of a Mormon children's song I had learned about Jesus as a child, which contained the lines, "He never got vexed if the game went wrong / and he always spoke the truth." The fanciful idea of those lines being chosen as someone's epitaph (perhaps that of J. W. Dunne, whose otherworldly visitants described life as a "game") crossed my mind, which served to keep the song in my mind long enough to remember that the chorus is:
So, little children
Let’s you and I
Try to be like him
Try, try, try
That triple-try is a clear sync with the P!nk song. Then I remembered that on July 31 I had had a sync involving a T-shirt that said "TRY YOUR BEST," with different parts of that text being successively covered and revealed to form different messages. At the end of the post about that, "U R best," I had quoted the First Epistle of Peter: "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (4:12). This message, that a "fiery trial" is only to be expected, and perhaps inevitable, syncs with the P!nk song as well: "Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame / Where there is a flame, someone's bound to get burned" -- in other words, don't think it strange if you "get burned," as though some strange thing happened to you. Keep it in perspective: "Just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna die."
Another song that came to mind in this context was "Can't Run But" by Paul Simon. It doesn't actually use the word try, but the idea of trying one's best despite limitations is implied in the refrain:
I can't run but
I can walk much faster than this
Can't run but
I can't run but
I can walk much faster than this
Can't run but
Then I noticed the relevance of this verse:
I had a dream about us
In the bottles and the bones of the night
I felt a pain in my shoulder blade
Like a pencil point? A love bite?
A couple was rubbing against us
Rubbing and doing that new dance
The man was wearing a jacket and jeans
The woman was laughing in advance
This syncs with "My dream on the eve of September 11, 2001" -- a long-forgotten dream that was suddenly brought back to my attention last night by inexplicable means.
There was a sharp report, and I felt the bullet bite into my back, just to the left of my spine. . . . The bullet entered my heart, and a dark, warm, paralyzing feeling swept over me. I felt myself lose consciousness, lose identity, and everything was black and silent and timeless. The last thing I heard before I disappeared was my friends' laughter.
The bullet entered my heart through my back, just to the left of my spine -- pretty anatomically close to "a pain in my shoulder blade" -- and of course "pencil point" means lead, which means a bullet. And after the bullet, laughter.
Today I checked the Babylon Bee after several days of not doing so, and one of the stories was "Kim Kardashian Breaks Up With Pete Davidson After She Finally Gets Around To Watching SNL." The photo showed Davidson wearing a jacket and T-shirt; it didn't show his legwear, but the casual nature of his get-up makes jeans a strong possibility. This passage from the article syncs with "The woman was laughing in advance."
"Of course, everyone assumes I dated him because he's so funny," said a rueful Ms. Kardashian. "What it takes everyone a while to realize is that Pete has just perfected the smile and half-giggle of someone who just cracked a hysterical inside joke. You end up laughing because you want to be in on the joke, or think you must have missed something, and your brain somehow starts to believe Pete is actually hilarious. But if you just listen to the words coming out of his mouth, nothing remotely funny ever happens."
Going back the idea of pencil-as-bullet, it made me think of the They Might Be Giants song "Pencil Rain," in which that is used as an extended metaphor. The song begins: "The possible dream / Finale of seem" -- two lines alluding respectively to Man of La Mancha and a Wallace Stevens poem.
Relevant to my recent FBI dream, the news is all about the totally normal FBI raid on Donald Trump's private residence, the purpose of which was to "find" that he had misappropriated classified documents, making it illegal for him to run for president again and putting an end to "the possible dream" that the God-Emperor will rise again. How did that Wallace Stevens poem go?
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream. How is a line from a 1954 poem so precisely apropos to the current political situation in the U.S.?
Related to the classified-document allegations is the bizarre claim that Trump flushed so many torn-up documents down the toilet that the toilet clogged, allowing NYT White House correspondent Maggie Haberman to photograph them. Trump's response to this?
He declared the story 'categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.'
He also referred to Haberman as 'Maggot' as a play on her name Maggie.
The Poetry Foundation website says that "The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream" is an allusion to Hamlet.
Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots.
This is really weird, and I'm still not exactly sure how it happened, but last night I was trying to type a web address into my browser, and some combination of typing errors and an autocomplete function with a really long memory caused the browser to bring up a Wayback Machine archive of something I had published on a long-defunct GeoCities website on September 12, 2001. I still have no idea how that happened. I have no memory of ever visiting the archive of that site, or if I have it can't have been at all recently, and my browsing history backs me up on that: no record of ever having visited it before last night, and yet somehow the autocomplete function on that same browser served it up.
This obviously indicates the hand of the sync fairies, or of other unseen agencies, so I'm posting it here.
This, unmodified, is what I wrote in my personal journal the day after the attack. As you can tell by reading it, I wasn't planning on posting it on the Internet -- but, for some reason, I now feel like I ought to.
9:30 a.m. Wednesday 12 September 2001
I've been working on my alife insects -- I can't call them ants now, since they're all able to reproduce -- and yesterday morning I was putting some finishing touches on the program when Dad came in the door in a great hurry and told me the news: Hijacked airliners had been crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It took a second to register. At first it was just another news item, just another terrorist attack. Dad's breathlessness over it all helped me realize (academically, anyway) just what a monumental event had just occurred. "It's not going to be the same America after this," he kept saying. He may be right. I don't know. Who can say at this point just what the fallout will be?
Everything was canceled. João came home early because LCC was closed for the day. Institute was canceled. Mom and Dad's meetings were canceled. Everything stood still. The ambient attitude was that to go about one's daily activities after what had just happened would be in very poor taste. Everyone should stop everything, watch the news, and spend the day thinking about the disaster. I didn't. I went about my day. I didn't feel a need to dwell on the incident -- but that evening, when I went on the Internet, my attitude began to change. Every site I went to had some acknowledgment of the disaster. Every blog had an entry -- or several entries -- about it. Arts and Letters Daily had "Jesus Wept" written in place of their usual "Veritas odit moras" motto. Even Google had an attack-related addition to its bare-bones page. Jorn Barger (of Robot Wisdom), pro-Palestinian in his opinions, had a link to pictures of the attack, with the linktext "If you want peace, work for justice." After reading all that, I felt that my blog, too, should acknowledge the disaster -- unless I wanted to look completely heartless. But I had nothing to say about it. I linked to the BBC story, using the date as the linktext and making no commentary. Then I deleted the post, thinking it artificial. That was the idea behind my new blogging style, right? I'm not linking or writing out of a sense of duty -- I'm linking when there's something to link, writing when there's something to write. A link to news about the attack would be pointless: who hasn't read it already? So now my blog doesn't acknowledge the attack at all, and probably won't -- unless I end up writing an article with some substance, which I most likely won't. Why should I let a terrorist leave footprints in my blog?
I feel no sadness, no anger, no hatred -- only a sense of unreality and occasionally a black, empty feeling. It still doesn't feel real. The pictures don't look real; they look like something from a movie. The stories seem to be straight out of a novel. The feeling of emptiness was with me on and off all day yesterday. It was with me from the time I woke up -- before I knew anything about the disaster. It was a new kind of feeling, and as I tried to clothe it in words all my ridiculous brain could come up with was a cheesy line from Star Wars: "I feel a great disturbance in the force...."
Part of me wants to call it precognition or some such, but I think it more likely that the dark feeling was a leftover from the disturbing dreams I had had that night. I dreamed I was shot. An unshaven, black-haired man was putting a new magazine in his machine gun, and we were laughing at him -- laughing because he was a bad shot, and could never get us. The people who were with me -- my friends -- told me to lay down on the ground and demand to be shot, and I did. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I threw myself on the ground and said, "Just shoot me! Now!" And he did -- that's not what was supposed to happen. There was a sharp report, and I felt the bullet bite into my back, just to the left of my spine. My thoughts were running at a frantic pace: "He just shot me! Am I going to die? Am I ready? Of course I am going to die... and of course I am ready... it's over... it's finally over...." The bullet entered my heart, and a dark, warm, paralyzing feeling swept over me. I felt myself lose consciousness, lose identity, and everything was black and silent and timeless. The last thing I heard before I disappeared was my friends' laughter.
This syncs to some extent with the recent dream I recounted in "Many sparrows, again, and various other sync links." In that dream, an FBI agent I had known as a child came to my house, and I thought, "That's Mr. Graff from the FBI. I'd better go with him," and got in the backseat of his car -- effectively "arresting myself" instead of being arrested by force. Reacting to an FBI visit that way is somewhat akin to reacting to a gunman by lying on the ground and demanding to be shot.
The link that really got my attention, though, was that in the 2001 dream "we were laughing at him -- laughing because he was a bad shot, and could never get us." The reason I posted my recent FBI dream was that a sync related to clay sparrows had made me think of clay pigeons, which made me think of skeet shooting -- the one form of shooting at which the otherwise omnicompetent, Chuck Norris-like Mr. Graff was a spectacularly bad shot.
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God (Ps. 84:3).
Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flameWhere there is a flame, someone's bound to get burnedBut just because it burns doesn't mean you're gonna dieYou've gotta get up and try, try, try
Monday, August 8, 2022
|Melons from an alien land|
|Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.|
|Kolob, nigh unto the throne of God|
|The 400 divine rabbits of drunkenness|
|From the narrow desert, O man of pride, come into the house so high and wide|
|The enigmatic presence of the human mind winks back from the dark|
|We dare not go a-hunting for fear of little men|
Now, O now, in this brown landWhere Love did so sweet music makeWe two shall wander, hand in hand,Forbearing for old friendship’ sake,Nor grieve because our love was gayWhich now is ended in this way.A rogue in red and yellow dressIs knocking, knocking at the tree;And all around our lonelinessThe wind is whistling merrily.The leaves -- they do not sigh at allWhen the year takes them in the fall.Now, O now, we hear no moreThe villanelle and roundelay!Yet will we kiss, sweetheart, beforeWe take sad leave at close of day.Grieve not, sweetheart, for anything --The year, the year is gathering.
Gentle lady, do not singSad songs about the end of love;Lay aside sadness and singHow love that passes is enough.Sing about the long deep sleepOf lovers that are dead, and howIn the grave all love shall sleep:Love is aweary now.
Let me not to the marriage of true mindsAdmit impediments. Love is not loveWhich alters when it alteration finds,Or bends with the remover to remove.O no! it is an ever-fixed markThat looks on tempests and is never shaken;It is the star to every wand'ring bark,Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeksWithin his bending sickle's compass come;Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,But bears it out even to the edge of doom.If this be error and upon me prov'd,I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
A monster made of hundreds of tiny triangles
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