I really want to get this going....

Each day's listing is an excerpted edit from my work. These are numbered and sub-headed for ease of read and isolation from full body of continued text. Each small excerpt is a single-themed piece culled from a much larger whole. Please follow the heading numbers down to #1, or click on 'archive'. The highest numbers are most recently posted, obviously. If so interested, for follow-up, you may contact via e-mail shown - perhaps for discussion or annotation needed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


35. McCLATHCHY’S MOTIVES (the Spindle of Necessity):

"In Plato’s Republic there is an explanation of this : twelve days after his death in battle the body of Er – son of Armenius – a hero of legend in far Pamphylia as torches were readied CAME TO LIFE AGAIN on his funeral pyre and told what he had seen of the other world : that his soul in a crush of companions had journeyed to a mysterious place of two openings it seemed in the earth with two others above and between them the seats of judges who bound men to their sentences that they should climb or descend with the symbols of their deeds fastened to their backs – but Er was told only to watch and bear the message back to men the message that he had seen the dead arrive dusty with their travel and the souls of those already saved step down into a meadow to meet them and those who knew one another embraced and wept at the tales of what they had endured and seen while those above told of the delights yet to come and of injustices reversed and of tyrants cast into terrors worse than they themselves had inflicted and Er then looked up at a column of light to which the chains of heaven were attached that held the spindle of Necessity with its eight hollowed whorls broadening into spangled ranks of wheeling planetary orbits moving as they must and each sounding a note of harmony with the rest and the fates adding their overtones with their hands touching turning and guiding the spindle through its past present and future and as Er looked on each mortal soul was asked to choose its genius and the first were told not to be careless and the last not to despair for each would have the lot of his desire and the length of a new life and Er stood in astonishment as one after another men and women because the memory of their previous life was still so strong asked to be animals in the next – whether bird or beast – a blameless unknowing being not in love with death - and the soul that once had been Orpheus chose the life of a swan because of not wanting to be born of a woman and hating the race of women who had murdered him and others chose sparrow or horse or – remembering their pain – an eagle that could circle the slain in their bloody armor and slowly circle high over what men do to themselves and then EACH was given a cup of Unmindfullness from which some carelessly drank too much and some too little so that the past would haunt them and Er himself was kept from drinking (and how his body was returned to Earth he never could say) but as the others were driven like stars shooting up to their births in the world torches were lit and Er suddenly woke and found himself lying on a pyre – his old parents in tears" and I thought to myself ‘what a nice recitation is that and not all filled with the vile claptrap of modern day religion and all its effects and vagaries about intent and retribution and account-keeping or at least not in the vastly usual way of catechism and rant’ and I did guess it sounded like someplace I’d be willing to go to whatever it be but I left off soon enough all thought of that for I realized that in every manifestation of the human condition it is only and alone mythology and the splendor of personal belief which gets us through the morning noon and afternoon of our lives - and all other discussion of the point is useless and moot - and my single mind turned back instead to the embroiled hot and sweaty streets of Newark around me and as Don DeLillo said (to me – just the other day) "I want to immerse myself in American magic and dread."
"Let me believe in it all – infinity pain and the things we see in mirrors in dark rooms at night; the moon hermetic and shifting."
But to Hell with all that : all I could think of was "Where do we go when we die ? What are our lives without the possibility of a Heaven ? What makes the short-lived beautiful?"


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