‘A six year old rabbit with spinal injuries. She belonged to a teenage girl who seemed very level headed. They spent some time with the rabbit before it died and when I went in to ask if they were ready, she asked me, through tears, “do you have any potato chips? That is her favorite thing.” Her mother said “you can’t give her potato chips now!” But I said, “actually, I do have some, I brought them in this morning.” The stange thing is that I hardly ever buy chips and I bought these without looking at the ingredients and after opening them, realized they contained whey which I can’t eat so I brought them in for my co-workers. So the girl and I went into the back and fed her rabbit potato chips before she was put to sleep.’
(Found the blog via Boing Boing.)
“Did you know that I was dead? The first time that I tried to cross the river I was frustrated, but my second attempt succeeded. It was most extraordinary. My thoughts became persons.”
–A.J. Ayer, What I saw when I was dead.
From In the Jungle of Cities:
Love, the warmth of bodies in contact, is the only mercy shown to us in the darkness. But the only union is that of the organs, and it can’t bridge over the cleavage made by speech. Yet they unite in order to produce beings to stand by them in their hopeless isolation. And the generations look coldly into each other’s eyes. If you cram a ship full to bursting with human bodies, they all freeze with loneliness.
EKART: There’s a kind of sky in my head, very green and vast, where my thoughts drift like featherweight clouds in the wind. They’re completely undecided in their course. All that’s inside me.
BAAL: It’s delirium. You’re an alcoholic. You see, it gets you in the end.
EKART: When I’m delirious I can feel it by my face.
BAAL: Your face has room for the four winds. Concave! [He looks at him.] You haven’t a face. You’re nothing. You’re transparent.
EKART: I’m growing more and more mathematical.
BAAL: Nobody knows your history. Why don’t you ever talk about yourself?
EKART: I shan’t ever have one. Who’s that outside?
BAAL: You’ve got a good ear! There’s something in you that you hide. You’re a bad man, like me, a devil. But one day you’ll see rats. Then you’ll be a good man again.
On Saturday I saw Yannis Simonides’s moving performanec of Plato’s The Apology of Socrates. Here’s a translation (not the one by Yannis). And an excerpt:
“Friends, who would have acquitted me, I would like also to talk with you about this thing which has happened, while the magistrates are busy, and before I go to the place at which I must die. Stay then awhile, for we may as well talk with one another while there is time. You are my friends, and I should like to show you the meaning of this event which has happened to me. […]
… we shall see that there is great reason to hope that death is a good, for one of two things: – either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness, or, as men say, there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another. Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness, but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by the sight of dreams, death will be an unspeakable gain. For if a person were to select the night in which his sleep was undisturbed even by dreams, and were to compare with this the other days and nights of his life, and then were to tell us how many days and nights he had passed in the course of his life better and more pleasantly than this one, I think that any man, I will not say a private man, but even the great king, will not find many such days or nights, when compared with the others. Now if death is like this, I say that to die is gain; for eternity is then only a single night. But if death is the journey to another place, and there, as men say, all the dead are, what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this? […] What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again. I, too, shall have a wonderful interest in a place where I can converse with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and other heroes of old, who have suffered death through an unjust judgment; and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own sufferings with theirs. Above all, I shall be able to continue my search into true and false knowledge; as in this world, so also in that; I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not. […]”