Quarter of ten at night.

Again I’ll observe that you are what you read: a lot of life is a matter of learning, like behaviorism. Maybe even instinct doesn’t exist, so that John Locke’s tabula rasa was always right. As a consequence, individuals must take responsibility for programming themselves like a delicate computer. What goes in determines what comes out. If we have instincts and impulses, they can be modified by experience.

In my early thirties, I read mostly Melville, Emerson, Henry James, and Paul Bowles, and had very little acquaintance with Christianity. I told a friend in 1999 that I couldn’t be a Christian. But only two years later my parents were both gone and then the world undertook to convert me. I didn’t really read much for a long time while I worked and afterwards battled with addiction. I joined a church finally five years ago because I’d been told that spirituality was the only way to overcome it. I don’t know if that’s true or not: I’m still an agnostic. And maybe that’s how I’ll stay.

Just when my world is crashing down around me, I can expect some kind of rejuvenation like the myth of the phoenix that rises from the ashes of the old. I don’t listen to music much anymore. Instead, my life has become music.