DIY Wednesday: premeditatio malorum

I was frightened this morning, and as I write the fear is not all gone.

This morning my computer would not boot; it would only go round and round in an loop in which the opening screen would flash, pause, grow dark, get light, and flash again. I was frightened, I say. It has returned but for how long?

(I am writing in a hurry.)

We use words, we heap words, we throw them over and onto things. How inconvenient, we say. God, what an expense. Oh, how annoying. But I like this one all right. Why can’t I hang on?

We use market words such as brand, reliability, expense, and performance, we say that good things are built to last, but these market words, in the end, are nothing: they are nothing, and they explain nothing. This morning I was afraid–I–was–afraid–because I had an intimation of death.

As I rode my bike to the market (the computer shop was not yet open), I saw a corpse on a stretcher. Or I inferred, as I observed the men wheeling the silver stretcher, that a dead body lay underneath the cover. I felt cold.

For someone who loves words, loves to feel their surprise, their sense, their lapidariness, not to write, not to be able to write is to feel as if one’s lips were sewn shut. To me, it is that visceral, that existential, that terrifying. I don’t know whether for me there is any greater terror. Perhaps there is, and I just don’t know.

There is no death but mine. Death may be universal, but it comes only in the singular: it comes for me and hence this death is only, can only be my death. “Confronting death” is thus a half-consoling end-around: when faced with death, I am faced with what is for me. To me, for me, at me, close to me, but apart from me.

Because of this, I return again, in earnest, as humbly as ever, to the premeditatio malorum. I conceive beforehand of the terrors that shall befall me and, in so doing, I train myself strenuously, exhaustingly, and exhaustively for the worst fate imaginable.

I can write no more. Still I can speak.

My lips are shut. Still I can think. Look at the beauties, within and without.

My eyes, my ears, my nose no more. Still, my inner experiences are as rich, indeed are far richer, than my outer experiences anyway.

My thoughts no more. Then ‘I’ am not for ‘I’ am gone.

Oh, let me slip back to this day–for there is bounty in the eternal present–before it slips away.

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