The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 1, 2002


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Essay for Graduate Record Exams (GRE) from a dream:


On a Shelf, The Futility of Being

Here, on a shelf in my unaccustomed house, bottles and dishes are linked
together by association. Perhaps a plate is nestled upon another; perhaps
a bottle sits next to a bottle. All of these objects occupy my field of
view together, as if they are simultaneous, connected by other than their
random placement.

Ah, if they were only linked, the fate of one connected to the fate of
all! But such is not to be. Thus we divide the world into those objects
and associations deeply committed to one another, embedded within each
other, dependent upon one another - and those objects whose being in
relation to one another is nothing more than futile. Shamefully they
insist on connection that is not there; they exhaust themselves in the
effort, and to no avail.

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warmth


Jennifer wonders about her new boy. Jennifer says, when we cuddle together
we are very very warm. Jennifer's boy wonders about this. Jennifer says,
look at it this way. We are warmer for two reasons. Where our bodies
touch, we are not cold and we pass warmth among us so that the warmth is
there and nice with us, and our bodies come together in warmth and
coolness and then warmness all over. And our skin which is not touching,
that skin is less than the separate skins of our separate selves. And so,
her boy says, if we adopt a third, there will be even less surface and
more inside and lovely warmth. yes yes says Jennifer, and we can add a
fourth and fifth, and her boy says as we add more and more, the surface is
smaller and smaller compared to all the lovely warmth inside. Oh yes says
her boy, if we had hundreds and hundreds, why then so many will be so
lovely warmth inside all over, and on the surface, even then only half
will be cold and the other half warmed by the great engine within. Yes,
says Jennifer, and we will be a part of that great engine and all warmed
with that lovely warmth and all toasty. We are warmed by our thinking says
Jennifer's boy. Yes yes yes says Jennifer, we are very warmed by our
hundreds of thinking thoughts and bodies surrounding us in such lovely
warmth.


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Jennifer's essay on warmly warm

warmly warm is when you're very very safe and cuddly and there is your boy
and your stuffed animals and a lot of blankets and there are no terrorists
under the bed or looking in your windows and you feel nice and warmly warm
and there are no bad people and no robbers and you know you will have
sweet dreams all night long and your boy's arms are around you and the
whole world is leaving you alone and maybe smiling and everyone is very
very quiet and you feel so snuggly and so very full of love and you know
everyone and everyone is so very warmly warm and happy and peaceful and no
one will ever ever die and everyone has enough to eat and time to sleep
and play and do wonderful things and no one is ever ever sick and you fall
asleep so very warmly warm and happy and your stuffed animals are happy
too and quietly talking together


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