After making the proper birthday wishes to my friend, the genius mathematician – or rather, should I say, improper, insofar as he is the only one who can understand all that gobbledygook regarding absolutes, infinites, and the like – at least in the forum where I left the message – he pledged his eternal devotion to me. Yes, he was even willing to write a new Faust story, he claimed, and then concluded with these lines: “Divine Camelia, there is only one real infinity, and, oh, how unique is the aleph that serves it!” Indeed. And that is not even gobbledygook. As I was cruising through Fjona later today, a rather special place, while Leonard Cohen was singing: “I knelt there at the Delta, at the Alpha and the Omega… it don’t matter how you worship, as long as you’re down on your knees” I liked the thought that the sheep and goats understood a little of what such a line means. Every herd I passed started bleating in a choir, at unison, and looking straight into my eyes. Yes, they were worshipping me, I fancied, and I liked it. This kind of intertwined singing was almost synchronic with me singing Handel’s Halleluia yesterday at the posh Dalen Hotel. They were playing the piece at the restaurant – only in Norway – and I joined in. There was no one else around – only in Norway. And He shall reign for ever and ever. The waiter came along and asked, "so you like it here?" King of kings forever and ever - I didn't stop, but then I said: “the best”. Forever and ever and ever and ever, Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah. He was beaming and bowing. We all worship. Worshipping is a civil duty. The best part, however, consists in knowing how to choose your gods. Here’s a poem by a favourite poet, who also knows a thing or two about sounds and saints.

Monumentality and bidding:
neither yours nor mine but like his music.
Stalwart and tender by turns, the fugues
and larghettos: staid, bürgerlich,
up to the wide gaunt leaps of invention.
Repetition of theme a reaffirming,
like figures in harmony with their right consorts,
with the world also, broadly understood;
each of itself a Treatise of Civil Power,
every phrase instinct with deliberation
both upon power and towards civility.
At the rehearsing, always I think of you
and fancy: with what concordance I
would thus steadily regale and regard her,
though to speak truth you are ever in my mind;
such is Eros, such Philia, their composure
these arias, predetermined, of our choice.”

— Geoffrey Hill, A Treatise of Civil Power, ‘Handel’.


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