It was not like your great and gracious ways
Do you, that have naught other to lament.
Never, my Love, repent
Of how, that July afternoon.
You went,
With sudden, unintelligible phrase.
And frighten’d eye,
Upon your journey of so many days
Without a single kiss, or a good-bye?
I knew, indeed, that you were parting soon;
And so we sate, within the low sun’s rays.
You whispering to me, for your voice was weak,
Your harrowing praise.
Well, it was well
To hear you such things speak,
And I could tell
What made your eyes a growing gloom of love,
As a warm South-wind sombres a March grove.
And it was like your great and gracious ways
To turn your talk on daily things, my Dear,
Lifting the luminous, pathetic lash
To let the laughter flash.
Whilst I drew near.
Because you spoke so low that I could scarcely hear.
But all at once to leave me at the last,
More at the wonder than the loss aghast.
With huddled, unintelligible phrase.
And frighten’d eye,
And go your journey of all days
With not one kiss, or a good-bye.
And the only loveless look the look with which you
‘Twas all unlike your great and gracious ways.

                                                                            —  COVENTRY PATMORE [1823-1896]



GOD’S DEBRIS: “God’s Free Will.”

“Does God have free will?” the Avatar asked.

“Obviously he does,” I said. It was the most confidence
I had felt so far in this conversation. “I’ll admit there’s some
ambiguity about whether human beings have free will, but
God is omnipotent. Being omnipotent means you can do
anything you want. If God didn’t have free will, he wouldn’t
be very omnipotent.”

“Indeed. And being omnipotent, God must be able to
peer into his own future, to view it in all its perfect detail.”

“Yeah, I know. You’re going to say that if he sees his
own future, then his choices are predetermined. Or, if he
can’t see the future, then he’s not omnipotent.”

“Omnipotence is trickier than it seems,” he said.

                                             — Excerpt taken from Scott Adam’s GOD’S DEBRIS.

Note to the Existentialist self #13

My sleep continues to be troubled by odd dreams. Last night I dreamt I was a snail crawling across the edge of a razor blade. A very long blade, or it must have been how slow I crawled across the blade. I can’t be sure. Somehow it was
as long as the arms of God.

I crawled. I crawled. Repeat.

I crawled because at the end of the blade was a flat surface. Was relief.

I crawled. I crawled. Repeat.

But it was a mirage.

The blade was longer than the arms of God.
And I cut the blade, what it bled wasn’t my blood, and where my slime cut, healed over like Prometheus.

The blade survived me. Okay, maybe survive is a strong word.
At last, an eternity later, having crawled without safety, without guide or shelter, without miracle, the blade gave up and opened the flat surface for me. And I leaped onto the flat surface.

But it was another mirage.

It was another blade. Much blunter. Much shorter. Like the arms of man, those whose reach exceed its grasp.
And still I crawled. And crawled. Repeat.

I still don’t know what it all means. How the blade symbolizes the steadfast meaningless of existence, and if me, the snail, cutting the objective surface of reality is a by-product, a nonessential component of reality, and my cling to the blade as nothing more than something tenuous and feeble?

Oh well, it takes a long time to understand that you’re nothing. A long time.

Poem: Mirror Mirror.

This mirror holds eternity in its glazed reflection,
it isn’t only for a moment, finite,
granted, it’s a sum of something transitory;
ephemeral like young love,
but long enough to laugh at.
And it laughs right back.

The image and the reflection,
stand as illusion and fact:
reveling themselves as something whole.
Something tangible.

How absurd?
I laugh at the man in the mirror
I laugh at my reflection;
I laugh at this sum of nothingness.


There’s a sleepiness of our conscious attention that I can’t explain but that often attacks me, if something so hazy can be said to attack. I’ll be walking down a street as if I were sitting down, and my attention, although alert to everything, will have the inertia of a body completely at rest. I would be incapable of deliberately stepping aside for an approaching passer-by. I would be incapable of responding with words, or even with thoughts inside my mind, to a question asked me by a random stranger who happened to cross paths with my random presence. I would be incapable of having a desire, a hope, or anything at all representing a movement of my general will or even – if I may so speak – of the partial will belonging to each of my component parts. I would be incapable of thinking, of feeling, of wanting. And I walk, I roam, I keep going. Nothing in my movements (I notice by what others don’t notice) transmits my state of stagnation to the observable plane. And this spiritless state, which would be natural and therefore comfortable in someone lying down or reclining, is singularly uncomfortable, even painful, in a man walking down the street.


It’s like being intoxicated with inertia, drunk but with no enjoyment in the drinking or in the drunkenness. It’s a sickness with no hope of recovery. It’s a lively death.