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Postcards From The Past Without Pictures

ww1postcards02

 

Dear Eustice:

My mind confronts so many intangible truths that you sometimes seem – or is it just hope on my part – to be my only peg of reality. Have you noticed that whenever we finally believe we know the reason for something which happens, it often occurs that the real reasons are exactly the opposite of what we supposed. Everything walks a line – as narrow as those upon this page – between profound revelation and mindless absurdity. As I look through my window, the shadows cast through the trees on the next building, take the shape of a French poodle carrying a parasol. Is even Nature absurd?

Yours,

Margot
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Dear Margot:

Nature is nothing but reality, only the intangible can be absurd. As I’ve said too many times (and why do I repeat myself yet again) you spend too much effort – and wasted effort, for how can it be other – on futile quest and query. The only truth to be found is in sour milk or pleasant fornication – these things are real, these things exist. Absurdity is kittens playing or the Prime Minister’s latest speech. These things we look at with amusement or contempt – we know not to expect much from either. Quit you silly endeavours and join the world which surrounds you, not the one which your head surrounds. All important answers can be found between someones legs.

Yours,

Eustice

 

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Dear Eustice:

Ideas and questions are what make us more than the rutting animals you seem to exemplify. I do not claim that I shall ever reach Plato’s perfect bed, but neither would I wish to remain in your oft-used and no doubt soiled one. We are meant (I am quite certain of this) to strive to new understanding, new revelations about ourselves and our place in this world. The sole function of our body is to be a vehicle for transporting our mind, and keeping it alive. My `quest and query’ as you put it (and, by the way, did you steal that phrase – it sounds like the title of one of those pretentious little magazines you read) is both proper and noble. I really do wish you would utilize the gifts given you, and not waste so much time in idle and – it must be said – repetitious pursuits.

Yours,

Margot

 

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Dear Margot:

One of life’s meaner tricks is to allow us all a different set of beliefs. Cows, cats and dragonflies are content with their uniform outlook on life. Their needs are simple (if keeping alive can be called simple), and they eat, drink, keep warm, and yes, cheerfully reproduce with little thought of anything else. If you wish to assume there are greater endevours in this existence, then you should also assume that only saints and angels can fathom them, and not spend so much time on a chore for which you are not equipped. Grand thoughts may be fine for the likes of Plato, but my perfect bed will have three beautiful partners in it, who are completely willing to whatever I suggest. I think if you study our bodies more closely, you will see what it really is their function to produce. You could do with stimulation to more than just your mind.

Yours,

Eustice.

P.S. Moira sends her love

 

DE

(image) http://www.nzeldes.com/Miscellany/images/WW1Postcards02.jpg

Death Masks and Death

Bliss Carman, whose death mask it was, and who supplies an appropriate quote.
Bliss Carman, whose death mask it was, and who supplies an appropriate quote.

I took advantage, for my workshop on the Supernatural, to take my students on a field trip to see the death mask of a historically known poet, conveniently placed in a near-by building.

None of them had even heard of ‘death masks’, let alone seen one. I invited them to incorporate the idea of a death mask into their writing exercises. Some did, some did not. However,  it’s possible this visit to death elicited the following story from one of my students. If any do take a look here, they’ll see that I said what I meant about writers stealing all and sundry.

My student and her husband had purchased a new house. Cleaning and renovations eventually took them to the back loft area, which was piled high with decades of accumulated detritus from a long life. They cleared out beds and boxes and newspaper piles and magazines and bundles of clothes and on and on. Anyone who has had to clear out a house knows what this is like.

Near the end of this process, my student noticed a “clump of something” on one of the wooden beams in the ceiling of the loft. Getting ladder and flashlight, her husband climbed to see what it was.  He did not nearly fall from the ladder – that’s hyperbole – but he was definitely taken aback. It was the end of a number of knotted bed sheets.

DE

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