September 30th, 2019

  1. Assembling


    A bench glows as a hedge grows.

    It had already been a trying day. A sense of weight had descended upon all and the heaviness was like an infectious collapse: as each moment toppled, the next would ready itself for a disintegration, until time itself had become undone by the burden of merely allowing for the idea of persistence.

    The room would not do. The constraint imposed upon the act of pacing had become too abrupt, a distance too small, the thinness of the space commanding an artificial foreshortening—a perspective distorted by narrow points of view. Here, as it was, created incompletions: for as soon as a thought had been manufactured for deliberation, it would be swallowed into a corner, these barriers demanding constant reconsideration.

    Thusly, a departure had become necessary. From behind a door, out into the vast openness of a world’s disinterest. Along a path, where magpies bickered with starlings, a route slowly sloping upwards towards an imposing building, its windows like eyes tightened into a scowl as it loomed ever nearer.

    A small door offered itself at the side of the building, almost like a whispered secret, away from the main entrance where glooms of crowding hoards moved in undulating waves of thick, suffocating mire like spilled oil. Now through the small door, sneaking into hallways, until something menacing turns to notice, its puffing face reddened and farcical, saliva dripping from the corners of a mouth agape, tiny teeth grinding hatefully with the infested chattering of a locust plague. From somewhere distant, a raven beckoned with warning.

    All of them became disfigured and dysmorphic until they resembled scathing reptiles, with skin scaled and slippery, their slow movements evidenced by slime as if they were slugs. Clothing so perfect yet disguising nothing, gold glinting, obesity pushing angrily against button and clasp, nauseating opulence spilling forth from every orifice and pore.

    They stand like monstrous giants, their revolting presence forever frightening, all having turned to gape with loathing upon what had passed into this place through that small door—itself once little more than an offering of gentle entrances, now the passageway of an intruder—itself having produced such a diminutive thing as this, this object of such contemporary scorn and detestation, this innocent thing having suddenly been presented before this gallery of grotesquery.

    It fell away, that day, the weight of it becoming more than hours could hold. Like acute painfulness lost within a memory, it feels foreign and abstracted, more fancy than fact. It had happened and somehow a survival had been allowed, or perhaps the simple flight from it had been successful. A jay hops from a bough to the ground, its playful beauty worth all that had been endured. The sky becomes something glorious, oranges melting into violets as pinks stitch themselves into the ache of it. And they, too, shall deliquesce into a nothingness, any remembrances of them having vanished into the lovelinesses which shall remain.

  2. Minds Made Up


    Making the Mind by Gary Marcus

    The general outlines of how genes build the brain are finally becoming clear, and we are also starting to see how, in forming the brain, genes make room for the environment’s essential role. While vast amounts of work remain to be done, it is becoming equally clear that understanding the coordination of nature and nurture will require letting go of some long-held beliefs.