in the golden egg (2)

All eggs – Prajapati’s, Humpty Dumpty’s – crack. Far from being the kind of thing all the king’s horses and all the king’s men should deplore, cracking is the perfection of the egg, its designed endpoint. The milkfed days of Philip Lord Chandos were, apparently – or so his account would make us believe – appointed to lead him from glorious estate to glorious estate as he became a grandee of great learning. And thus he’d put one foot and then the other out of the egg. But it is a fact that some eggs fail. And it is a fact that promising minds are easily culled and spoiled, that entrance into real life is entrance into a bureaucratic labyrinth in which the many branches are all equally tedious, that energy is delight only as long as the divide between promise and attainment seems eminently surmountable. Hands, necks, cheeks wither. The great work, the grand instauration, the New Atlantis becomes a great mill, to which one finds oneself chained, one day, much like any other slave.

Or… perhaps in a horrible moment, all mental energies collapse, and the egg dies within.

“But, my honorable friend, even earthly concepts escape me in the same manner. How am I supposed to try to describe these rare mental pains to you, this elevation of the fruited branch above my outstretched hand, this retraction of the murmuring water before my thirsty lips?

In brief, my case is like this: the ability to think or speak consecutively over an object, something, has been completely lost to me.”

LI, in middle age, knows a lot about this in particular. The imbecile gaps are longer; living as I do, mostly in solitude, I don’t have to face them as much as, perhaps, other, more normal people do, except when I’m around people and actually have to say something. I used to be a ready speaker, and can still tap mechanically into the old flow, but how easily the references, the memories, the names will suddenly fly out of my head at unbidden moments! I noticed at the Bob-fest, when I was around people who I used to be around in my late twenties, that there was some control over the tearing of the web (which is how I think of this, the homunculus spider in my head weaving, over the seemingly endless time I’ve been alive, its complex, dreadfully dusty webs). It didn’t happen as often. Ah, blind habit friend of human kind! On the other hand, I know that surely the next time I have lunch with, say, my friend S., that the web will be torn. I’ll babble along when suddenly the web will tear off and fall in the dark – inside my head, of course – and I’ll have that magic, frightening aphasic moment, when the name-world become unfamiliar. S.’s name, mine, whatever stupid thing I am talking about, even the whole path that lead me to become a babbler.

Intimations of Alzheimer’s, maybe. But Alzheimer’s simply names a badly understood disease, maybe not even one disease. Rather, in the aphasic moment, what spreads out irresistibly is the embarrassment that takes in my entire life. And the need to keep running it. The need to keep the diligent, unsteady spider weaving. It is as if at the center of the whole project was some covered up glitch. I can taste the poisonous, acrid flavor of this moment on my tongue.

Although I’m not going to exaggerate – this isn’t the kind of thing that makes you slit your wrist with a butter knife in the intervals. It is the kind of thing you don’t talk about with anyone.


northanger said…
AZ 87 = 2008 TEXAS PRIMARY = ASSOCIATED BUILT-IN SYSTEMS = CALORIES-PER-DAY VALUES (AZ-37 EMERGY) = TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY = THE CIRCLE OF HEAVEN (This first, or rather ONE, principle was called "the circle of Heaven," symbolized by the hierogram of a point within a circle or equilateral triangle, the point being the LOGOS. Thus, in the Rig Veda, wherein Brahma is not even named, Cosmogony is preluded with the Hiranyagharha, "the Golden Egg," and Prajapati (Brahma later on), from whom emanate all the hierarchies of "Creators." The Monad, or point, is the original and is the unit from which follows the entire numeral system; The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky) = THE GREATEST POTENTIAL.
Anonymous said…
LI, keep on weaving man, even if memory and speech fail, fall apart.

Lang ist
Die Zeit, es ereignet sich aber
Das Wahre.

Arkady said…
LI, I have just the thing. A Chaconne!
P.M.Lawrence said…
Leaving aside the fact that many species have eggs without shells, let alone hard shells (e.g. frogspawn), you have not addressed the most important question: big end or little end?