In the mountains I write my autobiography. The conceptual one. Which is exactly why the title of it will never be “No regrets.” While singing in the woods today, some pre-renaissance songs, tunes from Hildegard von Bingen, I thought about what enables us to rise above tautologies of the kind, ‘things are as they are.’ What we regret is often that we know better, or that we already know, or that we understand – that there is more to things as there is more to their existence. Thus, what we regret is that we don’t have the time and energy to be in the middle of things, in medias res. I’ve always wanted to be a medievalist, or rather a musicologist in the area, only so that I can get the Baroque contrapunctum. As with many other things, it never happened. Not officially, anyway. Which is why, while singing, I made other musical juxtapositions than the obvious ones. I thought of the beautiful song by Costello and Burnett sung by Alison Krauss, The Scarlet Tide. It sounds like an hymn. “We'll rise above the scarlet tide,” she sings intriguingly, but the line: “man has no choice when he wants everything" intrigues me more. So, man gives nothing when getting everything is not an option. But this nothing is not just nothing, it is a kind of nothing which holds both defeat and hope tied to a promise of the assurance of everything suspended by conditionality; man has no choice, but, if and only if, then and only then, thus and only thus. Indeed. And yet, when we do not give, we are not only cruel to others, we are cruel to ourselves. Cruelest, in fact. But we hold on to the thought of giving, such as it is, such as we imagine it to be, and such as we keep enunciating it.

The idea of voice is an interesting idea in medieval scholarship. It is tied with how one way articulation establishes proximity to the divine through a field of vision. The more God says nothing, the more man speaks. The clearer the vision, the louder the voice. Yet what is articulated is often the illusion of proximity to the divine. For, the most profound experience of the divine occurs when voice fails on purpose, so that the passage to the tautology tide is surpassed by a better tautology. When things are as they are, the thought that what comes, comes holds and paints the spirit scarlet. Tomorrow I’ll visit some monastery, here in the sacred land of Bohus, or step on petroglyph stones. They are also scarlet, as is the forest in full foliage, as is the silence of the suplicators.


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