A Disturbance in the Magnetic Field

Your ardor is something puzzling. To be worked out over decades. If you put that much time into anything, you will, of course, be rewarded eventually. With a break in insurance rates. Or the kind of attention normally reserved for Chinese chefs and their offspring. If you wish to disengage yourself from the process, though, it is going to be frowned upon by those who have spent considerable time preparing the conference rooms. And arranging telecasts that run the gamut from haughty to downright threatening. Even the fire escape begins to look tempting. And the bald places on the surface of the sun cause more than just a disturbance in the magnetic field. They become a means of knowing ahead of time that the radio is going to pick up stations it doesn’t ordinarily pick up. Every claustrophobic knows, for instance, that walls are, in fact, a wonderful invention. The kind of thing that keeps people from inferring your motives. From following you around with their eyes the way others keep track of events at the opera. Consider Albertus Magnus, a man mute and feeble-minded until he turned thirty. And was offered a magnificent career in philosophy or the church by the Virgin herself. Just so long as he understood it would all revert back to simplicity before he was dead. That the tongue would go thick in his mouth, and the ravens circle overhead, while he was still trying to perfect the Elixir of Life.

Charles Freeland | Mudlark No. 35
Contents | Progress as a Way of Historical Thinking