The white spaces
When I learned of the mystical significance of the white background behind the letters, I was struck by the relevance of the order of the letters themselves. Perhaps this encouraged my fundamentalist, bosonic instinct. Surely if the book was perfect then the choice of individual words and uses of names must also be perfect. Complete understanding is gained through the description of sets, of mathematical and metamathematical explanation. But I am distressed, to an extent hard to describe in words, at my inability to read and remember all of the knowledge in the world. It frustrates me so I despair when in book shops or the Library of Babel. But I dream of bathing in the books to absorb everything they offer, to osmose all of the insights of the holy, the rebel, the maverick and the madman so that I may make my own decisions. But I cannot. And my own memory pains me with its inadequacy - my recollections churn and change continually, strange distortions, introspections and curious loops pervade. I am madness and despair.
How should I make sense of this in order to find my own way? Is my knowledge the figure and my non-knowledge the ground? Or are there unknowable or unreachable truths whose parameters I must calculate or guess? Is the understanding of all beyond my reach - is there only hope, or is despair above all realistic?
And why know, when the knowledge itself needs the wisdom to understand and the holiness to translate?
- Puzzled orchard in G minor, from Chromatic Conceit