Tuesday, April 30, 2024


In the Hour of the Wolf

Which is to say the hour of acute insomnia, all of the contingent facts about me are sinister.

My left thumb is double-jointed.  I had a tonsillectomy at age six.  I once flew upside down in a Yak-52.

Any contingent fact about me is like the contents of a black trash bag that lies in a landfill.  The mountain of trash bags is nearly, but not quite yet, complete.  A cherry at the top of this sundae will be most sinister, for what it portends, which is a completed life.

Compare and contrast facts that are necessary, logical, mathematical, geometrical.  (The analytic philosophers were obsessed with the distinction.)  Without the contingency, I can take comfort in them.  

So I broke the spell of the Hour of the Wolf not by counting sheep (as the wolf himself might), but by repeating to myself that C = piD.  The circumference of a circle will always be equal to its diameter times 22/7.  If I grasp hold of this and never let go, I thought, it may carry me off to a forever future, one free of contingency.

No comments:

Post a Comment