“. . . and Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled . . .” (T.S. Eliot, from “Ash Wednesday”)

eliot

Eliot before Anglicanism. The Prodigal Son?

(Written March 1, 2017)

Today is Ash Wednesday. A day to read T.S. Eliot.

Forty days and forty nights thou wast fasting in the wild; forty days and forty nights, tempted and yet undefiled. (Not Eliot)

I obviously can’t be sure, but I would guess that I could sing – stop keyboarding and start singing – lines of the words of as many as forty hymns the authors wrote either for Ash Wednesday specifically or for Lent generally.

Lord, who throughout these forty days for us didst fast and pray.

I have written at least once each day since February 24, the last time I posted here, written always with a guiding idea, one might almost say a “thesis,” only to have the idea disintegrate under my fingers before I reached the conclusion.

I have written about Trump, and I have written about not writing about Trump. I have written about a couple of scary experiences of forgetting that left me (moderately) shaken, and I have written about not being shaken by such experiences. I have written about a couple of joyful moments of tutoring, and I have written about the impossibility of teaching anyone anything. I have written about the shocking and irrational hatred of President Obama I encountered in conversation with a friend before the election, and I have written about my hope that my dislike of Trump is intellectual and political and not viciously personal as my friend’s is of President Obama. I have written about my pleasure at living by myself and having solitude, and I have written about my fear of being old and alone.

All of these unfinished writings are in a folder on my desktop either haunting me or waiting for me to finish them.

Last weekend I had lunch with an old friend. We were catching up on conversation we have not had in too any months. In the process of telling me about a reception he attended at the Meadows Art Museum, he said, “. . . and my Higher Power told me not to leave.” He was explaining how he happened to have an especially interesting and enjoyable time at the reception even though it was the sort of social small-talk event we both dislike.

My initial response, which I did not act on, was, “Whoa! You’ve found a Higher Power who speaks to you directly?” My friend has always been, in general, as uneasy talking about “God” as I am, and his direct reference surprised me to say the least.

My friend and I are both well beyond T.S. Eliot’s age when he converted to Anglicanism – in 1927 at age 39. (We are both approaching Eliot’s age, 77, when he died.)  Eliot’s poem “Ash Wednesday” is the first major work he wrote after he found faith and the English church.

Ash Wednesday” haunts me. I do not understand it. Being a good Anglican, i.e., Episcopalian (not devout or even believing, but good), I understand and can explain the Biblical and religio-historical references throughout the poem. I can even explain the “movement” of the ideas through the poem. I understand it syntactically and logically.

But I don’t, as they say, “get it” and have not since the first time I read it years ago. Section V of the long poem begins

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word. . . .     (T.S. Eliot, 1930)

The Word (upper case W) is the Word from the first chapter of the Gospel According to John. The Word is Jesus – or is Jesus the embodiment of the Word, the truth, the reality, the essence of existence, the voice of God? The Word is the light shining in the darkness, the spiritual truth around which the world with all of its words whirls.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (John 1: 1-5).

I am hardly a “writer.” I write a great deal, and I offer some of it for interested persons to read. But I use words for the most part to figure out what I am thinking and feeling, not necessarily to communicate or create a work of beauty. I have no illusion that I can keep company with T.S. Eliot (or with the Gospel According to John).

When I was a practicing, believing, not simply “good” Anglican, early each year I looked forward to Ash Wednesday. I saw it as a day to think about and acknowledge the reality of my life whirling about the Word but never coming to rest in the Word. I could take comfort in the church’s understanding that I am part of the “unstilled world” whirling, spinning about the center, the Word, and spending my words (all of our words) without listening to the Word.

I learned the words of those Anglican hymns.

Wilt thou forgive the sin, where I begun
Which is my sin, though it were done before?

I knew that acknowledging (confessing, as the church would have it) my sin, my whirling around the center, the Word, with unstilled words, always and forever missing the meaning of the Word, which does not speak to me directly, was enough. Confessing was all I could do. Wearing ashes on my forehead as an outward sign of the inward reality that I knew I am always and forever whirling.

The glory of these forty days we celebrate with thanks and praise,
For Christ, through whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.

My words, words about Trump, about failing memory, about teaching, about hatred, about solitude, perhaps most importantly about fear are inadequate to stop the whirling. I cannot find the “centre of the silent Word” by my own speaking, writing, hearing.

rembrandt-the_return_of_the_prodigal_son

Rembrandt, “The Prodigal Son.” (St. Petersburg, The Hermitage.)

As a good Anglican, I used to believe that was not a depressing or nihilistic thought. But now? These days I can scarcely read through to the end of Eliot’s poem. I know too well that “the right time and the right place are not here.” With the church, however, I sense – perhaps my sense may some day again go as far as belief – that not “denying the voice” of the Word brings me one step closer to a “place of grace” where I can stop whirling.

Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence
Not on the sea or on the islands, not
On the mainland, in the desert or the rain land,
For those who walk in darkness
Both in the day time and in the night time
The right time and the right place are not here
No place of grace for those who avoid the face
No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice
(T.S. Eliot, 1930)

On being nagging, self-righteous and preachy, or “Do you think my mind is maturing late. . .” (Ogden Nash)

Which frivolous woman is it she wants to disenfranchise?

Which frivolous woman is it she wants to disenfranchise?

Wisdom does not necessarily come with age. Some of us will simply never be wise. That’s particularly sad if we’re (or so we’ve been told too often in our lives) above average in intelligence. Then we think we have all of these great ideas that are, in fact, small ideas grown large in our own mind.

And they do not add up to wisdom.

The poet Ogden Nash was 61 years old when I graduated from high school. My Junior English teacher in high school had introduced me to his poetry (along with that of e. e. cummings, and I have had the two of them intertwined in my mind since then). Eight years later (1971) Nash died. He was the age I am now. (e. e. cummings died while I was in high school at age 68, a year younger than I am now. He smoked too much—try to find a picture of him without a cigarette.)

I can recite from memory more of Ogden Nash’s poems than those of any other poet (with the possible exception of Charles Wesley, but he doesn’t count because I learned all of his poems to hymn tunes which are what I in reality remember—he lived to be 81).

Celery raw
develops the jaw,
but celery stewed
is more easily chewed.

The cow is of the bovine ilk
one end is moo, the other milk.

One would be in less danger
from the wiles of the stranger
if one’s own kin and kith
were more fun to be with.

Three Nash poems of the many that often float unbidden to the surface of my mind when I wonder why they appear. No, I know exactly why they are there. I want to be clever and funny like Ogden Nash. Celery raw or chewed. Pure (unproductive) genius.

I learned the word “senescence” from Ogden Nash.

Senescence begins
And middle age ends
The day your descendants
Outnumber your friends.

I don’t know for sure when I memorized that one. Probably while I was in high school and Mr. Simpson was guiding my intellectual development. Mr. Simpson, by the way, committed suicide the year after I graduated and went off to university.
Until a couple of years ago (see the title of this blog) I gave the word “senescence” little thought. For one thing, I knew I’d never have any descendants, so I was safe. My descendants will never outnumber my friends, so I must not be in danger of my middle age ending.

He knows who the Anti-Christ is--listen to him.

He knows who the Anti-Christ is–listen to him.

One of my favorite “presentations” as one (presumably) with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy is “viscosity.” I have no idea what that means, applied to personality traits. Gooey? Sticky? I have a sticky, gooey personality? (Look up Norman Geschwind, the teacher of my first neurologist, and you’ll find the word.) I write here about other more fun “presentations” often. Hypergraphia, increased religious interests—others. I don’t like to think about “increased aggression,” although that could give me some solace about my anger issues.

But I will take solace in—whether or not it’s true—the idea that TLEptics tend to be serious, with a certain lack of humor.

Read my blogs!

I’m serious to the point of being “nagging, self-righteous and preachy” when I think I am right—when I wonder why the hell the rest of you don’t see things my way. I wish it were not so. I wish I could be cheerful and happy and invite pleasant banter about ideas, and exchange ideas freely and joyfully with others.

Sorry. It ain’t going to happen.

Take my posting here yesterday. What a grouch! I said on Facebook that I need a marketing firm to make my little campaign palatable to everyone and get a real movement going. Look! I know most people who read my stuff agree that the Voter ID laws are horrendous. But the laws have been passed, and all that’s left to do is let the ‘Publicans running the states know we don’t approve. In Texas you can do that EASILY by simply filing a protest when you go to vote and they ask you for some form of ID you either can’t produce or that seems superfluous.

I don’t have a clue how to say all of that so that is seems inviting or fun or even like a good idea. There’s not a gimmick or a jingle or a “hook” in my entire mental arsenal.

I hope that’s because I’m TLEptic and not simply an opinionated, unbending old grouch (the old isn’t applicable because I’ve been this way all my life).

Ogden Nash has a poetic gem titled “Lines on Facing Forty.” When I first discovered it, I thought 40 was obviously over-the-hill. The mind of anyone over 40 must be rotting.

I have a bone to pick with fate,
Come here and tell me girly,
Do you think my mind is maturing late,
Or simply rotting early.

Now I’m facing 70 (in three months; Nash didn’t get there). I’d say my irascibility is a measure of my approaching senility except I’ve always been querulous.

So if you’re going to vote for some Republican who thinks gays shouldn’t serve in the military because they would need a massage before going into battle; or if you agree with some pseudo-Conservative talking head who thinks young women should be disenfranchised; or if you go to church to be taught that President Obama has prepared the way for Armageddon,  I will, as a curmudgeon whose senility has reached the edge of asperity, frankly tell you that you are an idiot.

Period. And I don’t have a funny or endearing way to say it. I’m both senile and TLEptic. Wait til I’m really old.

If that pisses you off or makes you pity the over-the-edge old grump, well, I’m too senile to understand.

He knows how to please gay soldiers!

He knows how to please gay soldiers!

“The centre cannot hold.” (W.B. Yeats)

[Oh, dear me. I don’t know where this came from.]

The second coming - slouching toward Bethlehem.

The second coming – slouching toward Bethlehem.

.
In case you were wondering (wandering? pandering? laundering? sauntering? bantering? blundering? floundering? countering? countervailing? countermanding? contemplating? illuminating? ruminating? pondering? wondering?) about my prediction for the November election, I expect the election will be a watershed in the history not of American politics, but of life as we know it, simply because

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Anyone who has even a slight list to the left as they walk will stay home on November 4 for fear of falling over. It’s not that they lack all conviction, it’s that they have already decided that it’s better not to walk at all than to risk falling. That leftward list is made more pronounced because the center of gravity has moved to the right, and they think, therefore, that it cannot hold them up.

Most of my friends are fed up with the reality that President Obama landed in the viper-ridden oligarchy of special interests in Washington, D. C., in 2009, and immediately understood a) that the agenda on which he ran was dead in the water in the political reality of the Gerrymandered US Congress that cannot (now or probably ever again) represent the majority opinion on any issue facing the nation, and b) the real power in the United States lies on Wall Street and on 37th Street North in Wichita, KS, and no one can do anything against that monolith no matter what platform they ran on or what majority of votes they won.

The most dismal truth of all of this seems to be (note, I said “seems,” not “is”) that President Obama and those tens of millions of people who elected him apparently did not understand that the causes they thought he might champion could not have been successfully championed by anyone, and, in racist America, an African American President would have virtually no power to change anything.

Now I will slip into delusion. That’s OK. I’m used to it. The earliest of my own writing about the Koch Brothers I can find is from September 3, 2011. Somewhere, however, I wrote about them long before that. It was before 2003 because my late partner demanded that I prove what I said. I eventually had enough verifiable research that he began talking about the Cock Brothers as a phenomenon that could happen only in the lower Midwest, if you get his double entendre.

[I also, by the way, wrote about the “Project for a New American Century” before the 2000 election in which its horrors were institutionalized. My friends would not believe me, but we live today in the pernicious shadow of that document.]

The centre cannot hold.

The centre cannot hold.

I was wrong when I predicted Romney’s election in 2012. I still believe had it not been for his “47%” comment he would have been elected.

I’m not trying to establish my credentials as a prognosticator. I write and think with only second-hand information, and that not very clearly. But here’s what I think.

President Obama has clearly been a disappointment to anyone who would allow the word “liberal” or “radical” or even “progressive” to be said or written in any proximity to their names. You name it, he has not done what such people want him to do.

In order to accomplish those things, he would have needed a willingness (to say nothing of an ability) to act against (do herculean battle against) the powers that be in Washington. The powers of big business, bigger money, and a Congress so Gerrymandered in favor of the Koch brothers and Donald Trump and Karl Rove, and Ted Cruz that it can never again—I’m not being hyperbolic, it will take a revolution to change it—represent majority opinion.

gerrymander
1812 as both a noun and verb, American English, from Elbridge Gerry + (sala)mander. Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, was lampooned when his party redistricted the state in a blatant bid to preserve an Antifederalist majority. One Essex County district resembled a salamander, and a newspaper editor dubbed it Gerrymander. (Harper, Douglas. “Gerrymander.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 2014. Web.)

William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming” describes our situation.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned . . .

The falcon, flying farther and farther out of control cannot hear the command of the falconer. The centre cannot hold. Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Our anarchy is not, of course, the classical anarchy of the far-left. It is the anarchy of a government and society spinning out of control except for the unprincipled moment-to-moment decisions by the oligarchy in favor of actions and doctrines that will benefit them without any thought for what those doctrines will do to the vast majority of the population.

Yeats’s vision of the Second Coming is not comforting.

Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again. . .

The monster of the Second Coming, the “anarchy . . . loosed upon the world,” has a “gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.” The Second Coming is a “rough beast . . . slouching toward Bethlehem.” Whatever we thought the “first coming” meant (wherever we thought took place), the second coming—in the same place—will mean darkness, not light.

This will happen because

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

I don’t know if “progressives” are “the best.” I do know, however, that they have no conviction.

“The Second Coming,” by W. B. Yeats (1865 – 1939)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Gerrymandering to exclude progressives.

Gerrymandering to exclude progressives.

“. . . open wide my door /To the ghosts of the year. . .” (3)

We've caught the two!!!

We’ve caught the two!!!

Last night was Halloween. The eve of All Hallows Day.

How on earth did it get to be such a big deal in America (is it elsewhere)? It seems a bizarre celebration for a people who are mired in a political system that has utterly failed us; in a social system in which people who say the holiday is evil because it goes against their (tyrannical and terrorist) “christian” beliefs are becoming more and more entrenched and influential; in an economic system which day-by-day leaves more and more of us unable to flourish in the sense of the “American dream” that at one time was our common mythology and now seems very much like a grotesque nightmarish costume.

Or is it bizarre? Go begging door to door in the guise of having fun. In the guise of ghosthood. In the guise of blackmail.

Perhaps that’s the best thing for us to do. Go begging. I have the distinct impression that I should have gone out “trick or treating” last night to practice up for what I may well have to do when my paychecks stop next June because of my forced retirement from an institution that this year is raising $1,000,000,000 for itself (that’s a billion, in case your mind is boggled because you never see more than two or three zeroes in your own bank statements).

“. . . the ghosts of the year. . .” are pretty obvious. Ted Cruz. David Koch. Karl Rove. Antonin Scalia. Bruce Hoffman. Gen. Keith Alexander. Christoph Heusgen.  Lisa Monaco.

Yes, I am completely biased. I am a partisan of the worst kind. I can see nothing socially acceptable about these people. Their goal is to trick the American middle class out of its dream while they wear the costumes of fun and frivolity and offer the treat of providing a huge percentage of the populace with a fall guy (or a bunch of fall guys) to deflect the attention from their own complicity in the raping and pillaging of American culture, economy, and politics.

Every time many unthinking Americans, based on the “conservative” rhetoric (which is really ghoulish fantasy) in which the country is awash thanks to David H. Koch’s ability to buy TV ads, speak of our President, they say he is “(half) black.” That, of course, is a racist formulation through and through. Apparently claiming to be “black” when one is only “half black” is somehow telling a lie. Even though, of course, the legal definition of “Negro” in half of this country until the 1950s was (and still remains in the internalized beliefs) that one was is a “Negro” if even one of her great-grandparents was a “Negro.” (Let’s see, I had eight great-grandparents, so that would mean if 1/8th of my genetic makeup were black, I’d be a “Negro.”)

One of my best friends is ..  Uh, er, Black!

One of my best friends is .. Uh, er, Black!

Saying President Obama is only (half) black makes him the bogeyman because he—he’s wearing a costume! “Trick or treat!”

So we go on making more and more bogeymen. Bogeymen such as those approximately two people out of 65,000 in South Carolina who vote twice in any given election. So we pass new voter ID laws to prevent those two from voting twice. Most likely they are part of the “bunch of lazy blacks who want the government to give them everything,” says the GOP precinct chair from Buncombe County, North Carolina, Don Yelton (1). To be fair, the Republicans, sensing that his fixing of blame so blatantly on bogeymen was not playing well against the TV ads paid for by Mr. Koch and his friend Karl Rove, fired the self-declared bigot.

Lest friends of mine think I am not fair when I try to point out the failures of the Republicans (what the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove are doing has nothing to do with being Republican—they simply know it’s easier for them to use the great unwashed of the Republican rank-and-file than it would be to use the great unwashed of the Democratic rank-and-file, so that’s where they put their money on the great distribution-of-wealth-in-their-favor Trifecta), let me say right now that the Democrats under the President are making their own bogeymen. Muslims. “Terrorists.” You know, they’ve completely sold out to the “terrorism industry.” Anyone who looks Middle Eastern—or has a Palestinian friend on Facebook, I assume—is a bogeyman. And Bruce Hoffman would lose his power and influence if we called a spade a spade in that case.

The application of these newly learned capabilities to urban centers in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and elsewhere could result in a precipitous escalation of bloodshed and destruction, reaching into countries and regions that hitherto have experienced little, if any, organized jihadi violence (2).

So I guess it’s not so surprising that Americans love Halloween. We see bogeymen and ghosts everywhere we look. And that justifies our being frightened, repulsed, and angry at the “other” in our lives, no matter where we see her.

BOO!

Aw, shucks. We have met the bogeyman and she is. . . . ?

(3)

All Hallows Night
by Lizette Woodworth Reese

Two things I did on Hallows Night:—
Made my house April-clear;
Left open wide my door
To the ghosts of the year.

Then one came in. Across the room
It stood up long and fair—
The ghost that was myself—
And gave me stare for stare.
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????_____________
(1) Green, Lloyd. “The GOP’s Racial Handicap.” The Daily Beast. Oct 28, 2013. Web. (2) Hoffman,  Bruce.  “Combating Al Qaeda and the Militant Islamic Threat.” Testimony presented to the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, February 2006. Quoted in, John Mueller, Terror predictions compiled by John Mueller. Ohio State University. May 2, 2012. Web.

Don’t read this if you’re skinny and immortal

‘You fool! This very night..." (Luke 12:20)

‘You fool! This very night…” (Luke 12:20)

Yesterday a friend announced on Facebook he has slowly “somehow” lost 14 pounds over the last year. That’s not huge news except it’s almost impossible at our age to dispose of weight and trivial to find it again. Two years ago I dropped about 50 pounds. In the last year I’ve picked up 15 of them again.

I can blame old age—or something over which I have no control—for part of the repounding. If you read my palaver often, you might remember I fell a couple of months ago and hurt my right hip. Bruised the ligaments is the two-out-of-three diagnosis of my doctor, my PT, and my trainer.

The fall was not the result of old age. It was sheer carelessness. I was trying to put up the shower curtain rod which I had somehow pulled down reaching too far to clean my bathtub. I added the injury to the insult by standing on the toilet to reach the other end of the tub to tighten the rod. It was not a “help-I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up” moment. It was a “help-sometimes-I-do-the-dumbest-things” moment.

I’ve been in nearly constant pain since February 1.

The pain has kept me from walking. It has kept me from yoga class. It is kept me from getting started with my trainer after one session to analyze my condition. It has kept me from sleeping many nights. It has kept me excessively grumpy (how could you tell?). So I’ve been sitting around nursing the pain and being physically inactive. Add to that my spending half of my time with my inamorato for the last year and two months—and we do not eat particularly healthfully because we’re enjoying ourselves. The recipe for finding those fifteen pounds.

The pain is almost gone. The physical therapist is the miracle worker. Today I’ll join the fitness center at SMU and begin “water walking” in the pool. (My only fear is I might run into students while I’m in my swimming suit—or, horrors!—the showers! Perhaps the T. Boone Pickens YMCA is a better idea even if it is five times as expensive.

So I was thinking about why I want to take those 15 pounds off. The first and most obvious answer is to be even more loveable for my inamorato.  And then so I don’t feel quite so much like a fat old man when I’m around my students. And those new clothes I bought after I had taken off the 50 pounds. You know. If you’ve ever struggled with weight, you know.

Scene of the crime

Scene of the crime

This morning I’m adjusting the belt around my butt—yes, it may be true that the way the PT works miracles is to have me wear this belt 24/7. It keeps my ass from moving in ways that reinjure the ligaments (wear it inside my jeans, of course). On March 29, I used this pain in my ass to talk about the horrific racism rampant in this country—especially targeted at President Obama.

Today I have a different question. Why do I (why does my friend) (why does anyone) think it’s a good idea to lose weight? So we can live longer?

Seriously. I want you to consider before you continue reading how strong you are. How able to think about things you don’t want to think about. How you will react to my writing (once again) about death. If you don’t want to think about it, STOP READING. If you’ll think I’m suicidal or depressed, you may continue reading—but keep your opinions about my mental, emotional, or physical health to yourself.

I’m 68 years old. My trainer says my body is that of a 75-year-old (because of my BMI). I don’t like having let my body get into this condition.

Let’s say I get over to the fitness center and get to work and lose fifteen or twenty or thirty pounds. Great. Let’s say I live to be close to my parents’ ages when they died (92 and 97). So when I die, will I be equally dead whether that’s next week or in 30 years? Will I remember the 30 extra years I’ve given myself? What difference does it make if my apartment is unkempt and has no “style?” When I am dead, am I going to remember a chic décor of clean lines and beautiful things and the impeccable style of a gay boy any more than I remember my early-graduate-student thrift shop mélange?

Is that fool Rex W. Tillerson going to remember his billions any longer than I remember my $1334 per month Social Security?

“For you could not know that which is not nor utter it; for the same thing can be thought as can be. . . . That which can be spoken and thought must be; for it is possible for it, but not for nothing, to be; that is what I bid you ponder” (Parmenides of Elea. The Pre-Socratic Philosophers. G.S. Kirk & J.E. Raven, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964. 269-270).

But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ (Luke 12:20).

Early modern graduate student mélange