Sunday, December 30, 2007

What gives me the right??!

I've heard all kinds of complaints, and thirty-eleven doorkeepers (thirty-eleven = a large number, only slightly lower than thirty-eight o'clock, which is a huge number, equal in quantity to the adjective "pinkest" -- if no one has ever loved you thirty-eight o'clock and pinkest, then you're not living) have been banging on my door (a nice change for them, perhaps?), demanding to know who I think I am, and how did I ever get the idea that I can override their adamant collective "no"?

Of course, I'm immensely flattered by all the attention and deeply grateful to be asked this question!

And so, messieurs, I will not keep you in suspense any longer. You see, once a person has received even one (even if it is quiet and quavering) tiny, almost-imperceptible yes -- well, I believe you are more familiar with the rulebook than I am -- that's all the license a person needs. Moreover, as you well know, such a minuscule yes, though it be made of nothing more substantial than a breath, has a peculiar property -- it may be cut into pieces, an infinite number of pieces, and each small fraction of that yes is itself still fully a yes. What I choose to do with all those yeses is entirely my affair. If I wish to distribute them on the air, or spend them all over the cosmos, you can't stop me. The real question, and the one that should concern you more, is whether anyone will actually pick up a yes and run with it. That's the only weak spot in my strategy. Even when the ground is littered with yeses, you will indeed find persons who will shovel them to the side so that they can reach the little stools you so thoughtfully provide beside your gates. They will take a handful of these yeses and use them to cushion their bottoms for the long sit they will undertake, waiting for you to relent.

1 comment:

kabloona said...

This guy here is a C&L guy who is also a big Dob Dylan fan:

btw, My wife is from Asia (Hong Kong), and I have two sons aged 13 and fifteen.

Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."