Microcosms

Five forty. I checked out Pastor’s movie recommendation and I guess my assumption was wrong. I was trying too hard to analyze what he had said. The one who was irrational was only me… My burrito is cooling down before I eat it. I could go for ice cream tonight. Maybe tomorrow. No worries now about drinking again. It was the thing with Pastor that had bothered me… He may only want to be better friends with me, guessing from the plot of the movie. This is consistent with the time he called me at home on the phone. Easter was the next day and he didn’t even mention it. We just talked about music and literature like ordinary guys. Perhaps the one who needs a friend is him? He has a wife and grown up daughter, and a brother that I know of; but he hasn’t referred to any good friends. Well, having a friend is never a bad thing, so I ought to send him an email.

One forty. I’ve woken up with a stomach cramp. Been dreaming about volunteering with the church, but with frustration. Silly of me, really. Hours ago I sent a link for a King Crimson song to Pastor. No reply yet. I know I’m magnifying things out of proportion. Life is only human after all. I try to mold events into a Henry James novel just for the beauty of it, but life is often rather inconsequential. Or maybe it’s the insignificance that is so poetic? Seeing eternity in a grain of sand. Carlos Williams found the most trivial things worthy subjects for poetry. An old woman eating prunes from a bag: they taste good to her. A pastoral of junk items and furniture gone wrong. A red wheelbarrow beside the white chickens. Fire trucks and great figures in gold. Or the black ants that keep turning up in my kitchen. And a blue heeler dog growing obsessed with bacon strips. All of these snapshots are in themselves the stuff of dreams, of an art that extends to universals. Particulars to generals, or the latter in the former. It’s an idea made famous in a poem by William Blake… So that exaggeration is not really exaggerating, and the smallest things can be the greatest and grandest.

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Day in Review

This could be a good day, despite the inscrutable gray sky. Inside, it’s nice and warm by the grace of electricity if nothing else. I hope for no intrusions by construction workers. I’d like to pick a day and go buy Aesop the tennis balls I promised him. I regret that he’s so bored every day. After Tuesday I should have WiFi again, hence I’ll be able to use my tablet and any computer I choose to set up. It’ll feel good to be so connected once more. There’s a song by Yes in my head, “The Remembering: High the Memory.” It’s on the Topographic Oceans album, which I heard two weeks ago. The words seem unintelligible at first, yet in a poetic way they make sense, and moreover sound beautiful. They say things like, “The strength regains us in between our time,” and, “Stand on hills of long forgotten yesterdays,” and, “We walk around the story.” The influence on Yes is definitely Romanticism, probably Blake in particular. When I first listened to Topographic Oceans, I had no idea where such lyrics came from. I didn’t have access to poetry of any quality. The bookstores in Eugene didn’t stock much poetry, except for the University one. My date with poetry was to come years later… The silence now is loud. Enter a few Canada geese overhead. A passing car. Aesop listens. My sister said she would call me this afternoon regarding a possible lunch tomorrow. I told her I was through with adapting my life to the contractors’ schedules; let’s go ahead and have lunch.

Knowledge

I got four more hours of sleep, and then I got Aesop to go outside and come back without his lead. He got a reward of four Milk Bones. One thing he has down is potty training. He hates to mess that up. It is only four thirty in the morning, thus obviously the sky is still black as ink. When I think of the books I’m getting back today, the first one that comes to mind is my big orange William Blake. There have been passages I wanted to review, particularly the opening lines of Europe: A Prophecy. Newton sounds the trumpet of doom and then the angels crash to earth, as if to say that science is the death of religion. When I scanned Job a bit ago, I was aware of the issue of possessing knowledge. Some Christians believe that it’s a sin to compete with God in knowledge. And indeed it’s biblical the way God punishes people who aspire to know about his Creation. This belief is at the root of why the Church throughout history has retarded scientific progress. The Creation is sacred to Christians and not to be tampered with. But scientists figure that nature has no Creator, or anyway not like the Old Testament God. Jehovah is a jealous God, and his jealousy extends to his Creation as well. Anyone who dares to know is castigated in the direst way, like Adam and Eve, like the builders of the Tower of Babel, and like Job until Job admits he knows nothing of nature’s secrets. This jealous God, Creator of heaven and earth, wishes to keep his people in ignorance. So then comes Newton and blasts the trumpet of the last doom in the Blake prophecy, abolishing the angels. Abolishing the promise of life everlasting. So that the price of knowledge is the sacrifice of eternal life. Very interesting stuff…