Saturday, February 21, 2009

the mathoms redivivus

You have entered this site for the first and the hundred and first time, whether you are some happenstance hobbling stranger who is hoping for something new and interesting to read, or my closest friend who knows that nothing of the sort will come from here. For that matter, I never promised anything of the sort-just read the banner here, and my mission statement will be clear: the celebration of the mathoms.

Two hundred and forty posts could have packed a wallop if quantity was all you were seeking, but that would leave the soul of the truly starving wanting more. There is no satiation without the substance, the marrow, the juice.

When pragmatism has conquered idealism, we wake up with sick stomachs and throbbing heads, and even worse maladies. But if all that is left is duty, I am not falling on my sword, I am making a change to see beyond duty and arrive at life itself.

Everything is gone, yet all things remain on the same course. It is the course we dreamed of as children, the one we spurned as fools of 13, or 31. But at 1331, we will see things clearly, doubtless. This is how we brighten our days, by not ignoring the darkness or embracing it as shining, shimmering splendor (yes, I did just quote Aladdin, and no, of course I did not!). It is knowing that Nothing is truly no thing. It is having the courage to laugh at those who take nothing for something, but only if such laughter begins with auto-mockery that ends in a joyful self-destruction. At that moment, when we feel like our walls have been dashed to pieces, we will realize that we can begin to build something real. Something, instead of nothing. That is the essence of a mathom. It is something true, something real, something held onto but is not the most amazing treatise or love letter. It may evoke real nostalgia, real guilt, real joy, or real bitterness, but the point is it is real. There are stronger potions in the world, and I will leave it for sorcerors and soothsayers to prattle with such words, because I have seen more good come from a miniscule mathom. The most meagre trifle in the proper place can unseat lords and dethrone kings. Even nothing can shake up world affairs. Whether that means it is for good or for ill is for historians to sort out, but it happens all the same.

There is in Nothing something so majestic and so high
that it is a fascination and spell to regard it. Is it not that
which Mankind, after the great effort of life, at last attains, and
that which alone can satisfy Mankind's desire? Is it not that which
is the end of so many generations of analysis, the final word of
Philosophy, and the goal of the search for reality? Is it not the
very matter of our modern creed in which the great spirits of our
time repose, and is it not, as it were, the culmination of their
intelligence? It is indeed the sum and meaning of all around!

How well has the world perceived it and how powerfully do its
legends illustrate what Nothing is to men! - Hilaire Belloc, On Nothing & Kindred Subjects

For now, I will say goodbye by saying hello:welcome back. It has been too long, even if it has only been five seconds.

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