The Diary of an Old Soul
George MacDonald

September 18

Why is it that so often I return
From social converse with a spirit worn,
A lack, a disappointment--even a sting
Of shame, as for some low, unworthy thing?--
Because I have not, careful, first of all,
Set my door open wide, back to the wall,
Ere I at others' doors did knock and call.

Father, again and again I tire, and groan, and remember
the futility of my former days, and wonder that I
ever will progress, with all my past debt burdening
the way and shadowing my path.

But if a shadow stretches before me, a warmth is on
my back--of the Sun, finding me and glowing
to cheer me along and along, sometimes disappearing
as I dip, and reacquainting me with the heat of life
as I rise, and run again.

Words by Pierce Pettis and Andrew Peterson

Album: The Far Country

(John 12:24)

This is not the end here at this grave
This is just a hole that someone made
Every hole was made to fill
And every heart can feel it still--
Our nature hates a vacuum

This is not the hardest part of all
This is just the seed that has to fall
All our lives we till the ground
Until we lay our sorrows down
And watch the sky for rain

There is more
More than all this pain
More than all the falling down
And the getting up again
There is more
More than we can see
From our tiny vantage point
In this vast eternity
There is more

A thing resounds when it rings true
Ringing all the bells inside of you
Like a golden sky on a summer eve
Your heart is tugging at your sleeve
And you cannot say why
There must be more

There is more
More than we can stand
Standing in the glory
Of a love that never ends
There is more
More than we can guess
More and more, forever more
And not a second less

There is more than what the naked eye can see
Clothing all our days with mystery
Watching over everything
Wilder than our wildest dreams
Could ever dream to be
There is more



I love Vincent.

In case you're wondering, the post linked to above is by Vincent Baker, who made Dogs In the Vineyard and several other story games. His blog is here:


The post, Killing Darlings is great, and it reminds that I've finished only one game.

My friend Brennen is doing a thing a day for a month.

Maybe I should follow suit, but in games.

So what would that look like?

I'd add a column to my every day list, of game development, .25 h.

I don't think I'd require myself to finish a game each day. Maybe each week?

Yeah. Let's make it every Sunday at 0001.00 I owe a game text posted here.

Learning II

I prefer to learn by hearing.

Some people like to see what you have; others want to feel or touch the subject at hand.

An excellent way to check one's comprehension is to explain a given concept or technique to someone else, such that they can use it immediately.


Gerald J Sussman at Don Friedman's 60th Birthday Party

Original video here.


What is True


Find an Approximation to f(x)
Make Guess (G)
Improve Guess by averaging G and (f(x))/G
Recur until G good enough

Computer languages
I can say some things more precisely than before

Chaotic Motion shown by machine

I've learned a lot, and I'd like to tell you the things I've learned

Structure and Interpretations of Classical Mechanics

Mathematical Notation Fundamentally sucks


cos^-1(x) /= 1/(cos(x))

Mathematical notation is an impressionistic natural language.

Mathematicians haven't been clear because they don't have a good language.

No good for teaching elementary stuff.

Right answers by wrong arguments.

Understanding ideas /= Manipulating symbols


Requires precision.

Write a program to explain things.

~overly rigorous

Edgar Allen Poe The Philosophy of Composition 1846

Minsky Paper Title

MINDSTORMS: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymour Papert


Learning is fun!

I'd forgotten until my Digital Logic Tuesday morning the immense pleasure I obtain from lecture, on occasion.

The teacher, Dr. Singh, was explaining a method for designing a particular machine using some simple binary operations. It was very abstract and high level (i.e., right up my alley.)

It's probably somewhat gross psychologically, in that competition and therefore pride play a role. I catch on to abstract, numerate, or verbal things pretty quick. (Ah, the joys of unspecified scope in comparators. Quick relative to what population, Will?)

Learning is delightful, and some folks don't believe that. How utterly tragic. Nothing is simpler or humbler than our capacity to learn from every situation. It is the root of social relations, prediction, abstraction--so much that I'm abashed to have begun a list.

Frank Herbert writes of Paul Muad'Dib in Dune that he never forgot that one can learn from every situation.

(The learning/growth distinction is one I'm still working on--feel free to throw a comment down if you think you can add light [or, I suppose, heat].)

(Learning is our dyadic relation with All, oneself and the world at large. Surely there is no more basic joy. If you can think of a counterexample, I'll ask Thomas to send you brownies.)



On the advice of my lawyer, I submit this frail offering as evidence that I have a sense of humor care about you, Constant Reader.

Original comic here.

She's really an amazing with watercolor. (She'd say watercolour, actually.)

Of course, that my school pussed out on classes today after mere Tornado Warnings helped.

Maybe after lunch I'll actually finish something.

Mood: (Are you kidding me? Do you really think I'm going to write something so inane as my mood down?)

Music: Exorcist Children - Sea of Amorphia, Drop of Quiddity


Nota Bene

I discover dubiety in myself. One symptom is that I ask a certain question often: "Is what I just thought generally true, or merely locally true (although general across my experience)?"

It's a sampling problem. How do I know that I have enough samples, and have weighted them properly, to be representative of a class?

This is not a big problem in studies that look at relatively simple and interchangeable objects, like widgets or waves. It is a very big problem knowing and describing complex and varied subjects, like women or turbulence.

It's much worse in philosophy. "The study of the sui generis," as I've heard it called, necessarily has real problems with this very issue--when do I know what I know is enough to know things?


Three in one: Humans

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So there existed this man named Nee To-sheng, which in English is Watchman Nee. He lived in the twentieth century, and he died in prison on account of his faith in what Kurt Haley refers to as "that love."

Br'er Watchman taught (probably in some book like The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit, but I'll need to check) that from this verse, which he thought pivotal to understanding some other passages in the Bible, we receive a trinitarian notion of what humans are. So the dust of the ground is Adam's body, his physical form, what John Sewell calls his earth suit. And the very breath of God is Adam's life-breath, his motive force, that marvelous synergy that distinguishes corpses from babies and belles and beaus. And the life of the man is in the relation of body and spirit, the "living being" of the passage above.



The liturgical color of the Church is red, m-th-rf---r.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy God's Spirit Day!



I want to found a missional, multigenerational, covenantal, family abbey.

Place of refuge, quiet, work, prayer:
Community Life (Life with one another.)

We have a shared hope of the Best;
we hold out the words of life to the world that is dying.
We honor the image of God in every human, and enjoy the creation of God in everything--we remember the Incarnation.
We embrace sorrow and suffering as crosses--they remind us of the Passion of the Cross.
We not only permit parting but encourage multiplication--we return to "unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it will bear no fruit." We pass through death to find Resurrection.
We edify one another, in one accord with God's Holy Spirit, forming His Church, gathering in Jesus' Name.

3 vows:

Obedience with Charity; Charity in Authority (Love)
A Few Disciplines Among Many-Secret Giving, Swift Compliance, Bearing With One Another

Faith and Faithfulness (Faith)
A Few Disciplines Among Many-Chastity, Prayer, Recalling the Truth of One Another

Simplicity and Purity (Hope)
A Few Disciplines Among Many-Keeping Short Accounts, Giving Time, Believing the Best of One Another

We want households, pairing, the issue of children, the increase of man's promised dominion over the earth; we want travel, hospitality, help, adoption; we want art, craft, intellect, passion, expression; all redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. We desire nature in all its fullness to be penetrated and enfolded by supernature in all its emptiness.

Site that support's Julie's Well

I have in mind to start a site to collect money, maybe sell T shirts for Julie's project in collaboration with Mission: Water for Life.

Blog => Wiki, v.v.

I want a wiki to blog in.

He Knows Your Name

Each grain of sand is a beautiful work of art.

And not a sparrow falls, ...

This gives a certain amount of texture to God's covenant with Abraham to make the number of his descendants like the grains of sand on the seashore, like the stars in the sky.


Power vs Grace

Power is transferrable.

Power to kill, power to heal, power to organize, power to communicate. Any of these might be used for evil, or could be used for good.

Grace is personal.

Grace is transgressive. Grace is a bigger word than mercy, and orthogonal to power in several ways--I must think a while to enumerate.

Thought brought to mind while watching Iron Man, particularly the "Oh my goodness, I've been enabling betrayal and the death of my countrymen scene." It wasn't that I thought that plot arc was terribly well executed--I had no sense of truth in Stark's realization: it seemed superficial, like watching Jim Carrey in his first few non-comedic roles.


Feast of the Ascension

I learned a new word today.

Giaour. It is word of Turkish origin that Muslims use to refer to infidels, or Christians, or Greeks. It is old. Lord Byron wrote a poem titled Giaour.

I learnt it from Lepanto. If ever I own or have access to a camera regularly, I'll record it for you on the 'tube. (In no sense do I understand conversational Deustch; I just like how it sounds, and am amazed by what one can learn without understanding the narrator.)

So it wasn't the wasted day I labored to make it after ten.

My point in bringing all this up is that I had no idea, none, that Chesterton wrote verse. It's like suddenly discovering that in your friend's attic are the scores of really good portraits she's done for the last twenty years which she never mentioned. Also: Cervantes reference!

And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye, 45
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work, 100
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain, 140
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)


Story Ideas


green star looks down on you inimically

fly fisherman = magician with wand


. . .


Ron is good with words and thoughts

I shan't attempt to preserve the marvelous style that Ron maintains in his observations, but shall relate three of them from Men's Group last week:

1. Relationships are inherently transformational. They change you, in unpredictable ways.

2. Marriage is supposed to lead me to God. (Neither Ron nor are married, but he seems much closer to the finish line of the premarriage race than I do.) So for all of everything it is, my receiving love in marriage is to remind me of my Father; my giving love in marriage is to remind me of the Church's Groom.

3. Insufficiency is a must in affairs of the heart. It reminds us of our dependence on God; it is not to be run from or resigned, or even accepted, but to be embraced.

(From VCL teaching, but mentioned that same night)
Also, the world says this:

Give me Authority over you.
Be Accountable to me.
Then I will Affirm you.
If you submit to me, are corrected by me, and find me the judge of your good efforts, I may Accept you (if you measure up, and keep measuring up).

Jesus and His Kingdom say:

I Accept you.
I Affirm the good in your life.
If you will, I will help you to adhere to your best wishes by making you Accountable to them.
I will take Authority, gladly, if you trust me to bear it for you.

The World (kosmos):
-> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> ->
Authority, Accountability, Affirmation, Acceptance
<- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <- <-
Jesus's Body


Breath, Voice, Word

Father, Son, Spirit

Beginning, Middle, End

Source, Flow, Sea

Spirit 2

Energy + Personality(Polarity?) = Spirit

Energy: passive, active (The tao that can be named is not the true tao.)/Food of the spirit, the soul; that which is necessary; cf. Maslow hierarchy, inversion.

Personality (Polarity?): Default reactions; Weltanschaaung or viewpoint

And yet. And yet--

The Spirit that can be named is not true Spirit.

The wind blows where it will.



Brain Dump inspired by ones from months back. Apologies for implied hierarchy, had I my way these would scattered around the pageview and slowly move.

Information dense/bearing/loading
"At just the right moment"
Love or Hate
Best or Worst
Ruling or Being ruled; Dominion; Hierarchy
Very Good or Very Bad; Dichotomous; Self arranging to extremes
The nature of God

Should rule Flesh and Bone

More at Spirit 2


Brain Dump from months back. Apologies for implied hierarchy, had I my way these would scattered around the pageview and slowly move.

Strong or Weak

Pure with Bone and Breath


Brain Dump from months back. Apologies for implied hierarchy, had I my way these would scattered around the pageview and slowly move.


Aspirant w/ Flesh; Breath

Love is near

27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
Acts 17

The word that saves is right here,
as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest.
Romans 10

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, ... for he is thy life, and the length of thy days ... .
Deuteronomy 30

I should perhaps note that the Romans 10 link is to Paul's explanation of the Deuteronomy 30 quotation. If you balk at my connection between the word of God and God, perhaps this from the beginning of John's gospel will explain:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

If you wonder at my identity between God and love, most succinctly I will refer again to a part of a letter traditionally in John's name about Jesus:
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
It is extremely clear,
then: Love is near.

13I bring near My righteousness [in the deliverance of Israel], it will not be far off; and My salvation shall not tarry. And I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory [yes, give salvation in Zion and My glory to Israel].
Isaiah 46



They are a strange race, the men of Stourveld. They are known for the beauty of their daughters and the uniform plainness of their matrons; a condition thought by some to be the accomplishment of changelings of faerie, not indeed robbing the cradle but the birthing bed. Inward looking, accident prone, they are a people much given to introspection and self murder.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


What I'm All About

I should write down that which utterly engages me:


I like it, but I don't understand it. (Dave Garth thinks one of the marks of grace is that something is wonderful but incomprehensible).


I like playing with systems, among other places in gaming, in writing and programming. I like being part of them, in community. I like thinking about them, all over, over and over.

In some essential way it pleases me to think substantively of structure, to muse contentedly of form, to realize the body of style. Thus I like design and interfaces.


Edited 2008 April 16 to add people. It was when I was perhaps eight that I thought, "Each person is a universe entire, apart from any other; we occasionally brush one to one, but only as galaxies passing through galaxies. The whole remains apart."

And that's it. That's all I can remember just now that I love wholeheartedly.

The Ise Shrine

The Ise Shrine is rebuilt adjacent to its current site every 20 years. It's on its 61st iteration as I write this. It's an example (another is wikipedia) of love as a renewable building material in Chapter 5: When Personal Motivation Meets Collaborative Production of Shirky's book Here Comes Everybody.

We don’t often talk about love when trying to describe the public world, because love seems to squishy and private. What has happened, though, and what is still happening in our historical moment, is that love has become a lot less squishy and a lot less private. Love has a half=life too, as well as a radius, and we’re used to both of those being small. We can affect the people we love, but the longevity and social distance of love are both constrained. Or were constrained–now we can do things for strangers who do things for us, at a low enough cost to make that kind of behavior attractive, and those effects can last well beyond our original contribution. Our social tools are turning love into a renewable building material. When people care enough, they can come together and accomplish things of a scope and a longevity that were previously impossible; they can do big things for love.

It's encouraging to me when folks tell me that we have structural changes that increase the power of love. A part of that is that I deeply love systems. The function of institutions (I used to say government, but that's a synecdoche) is to make evil hard and good easy.


Now We Can Do Big Things For Love

Edited 20080329 to correct doff to dopp.

Life teaches us that motivations other than getting paid aren't enough to add up to serious work.

And now we have to unlearn that lesson, because it is less true with each passing year. People now have access to myriad tools that let them share writing, images, video--any form of expressive content, in fact--and use that sharing as an anchor for community and cooperation. The twentieth century, with the spread of radio and television, was the broadcast century. The normal pattern for media was that they were created by a small group of professionals and then delivered to a large group of consumers. But media, in the word's literal sense as the middle layer between people, have always been a three-part affair. People like to consume media, of course, but they also like to produce it ("Look what I made!") and they like to share it ("Look what I found!"). Because we now have media that support both making and sharing, as well as consuming, those capabilities are reappearing, after a century mainly give over to consumption. We are used to a world where little things happen for love and big things happen for money. Love motivates people to bake a cake and money motivates people to make an encyclopedia. Now, though, we can do big things for love.

Clay Shirky, from Here Comes Everybody!, Chapter 4: Publish then Filter

Thomas has been promoting this book for several days, in several ways. I read a bit and talked to him for an hour and a half or so, in the middle of the day. Then I left for my father's house, in quest of, among other things, my dopp bag (which my mother assures me is simply another way of saying 'toiletries bag').

(If you should see a red leather dopp bag, somewhat frayed, do not approach it. Call the police immediately. It is suspected in the removal of myriad whiskers and three unobjectionable beards, as well as countless travel ablutions. It is to be considered armed [razor] and extremely dangerous.)

I read the above driving to Opelika and while loitering over chili in my mother's house. It's one of the more delightful things I've read, and I wished to share it with you; because I love you.


Wm. Temple:

Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose--and all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.



Shake hands, we shall never be friends, all's over;
I only vex you the more I try.
All's wrong that ever I've done or said,
And nought to help it in this dull head:
Shake hands, here's luck, good-bye.

But if you come to a road where danger
Or guilt or anguish or shame's to share,
Be good to the lad that loves you true
And the soul that was born to die for you,
And whistle and I'll be there.


'Tis five years since, `An end,' said I;
`I'll march no further, time to die.
All's lost; no worse has heaven to give.'
Worse has it given, and yet I live.

I shall not die to-day, no fear:
I shall live yet for many a year,
And see worse ills and worse again,
And die of age and not of pain.

When God would rear from earth aloof
The blue height of the hollow roof,
He sought him pillars sure and strong,
And ere he found them sought them long.

The stark steel splintered from the thrust,
The basalt mountain sprang to dust,
The blazing pier of diamond flawed
In shards of rainbow all abroad.

What found he, that the heavens stand fast?
What pillar proven firm at last
Bears up so light that world-seen span?
The heart of man, the heart of man.


Bitter words from a better man,
the shadeling prince A. E. Housman


The Name Game

Responses welcome, especially playtest reports.

Pick a name.

But first, divide into at least 2 teams and choose one person to be Paragon.

Pick a name. It could be someone famous, or infamous. Someone rich, or powerful. Someone good, or great. Someone who exemplifies a virtue. Someone you know. Maybe even someone here.

Brainstorm, then vote. If tied after a runoff, Paper, Rock, Scissors for it.

Now make up as many words as you can, using only the letters in the chosen name.

Keep track of every one's contribution by writing down the words and initialing which came from who. You might need a recorder if the group is big enough. If so, just make columns for each person's contribution, recorder.

You might add tension by having a time limit--say three minutes?--to come up with as words as you can. The paragon should act as timekeeper if you've time limits.

Don't forget to keep track of how many words each person made. Each word you made counts as a point for you.

Now create a master word list with all the words made so far.

The paragon will now arrange the words in order of likeness to the chosen name.

In teams, in secret, arrange the words in like manner, attempting to mimic the paragon's choices.

You might add tension by having a time limit--say two minutes?--or even just when the paragon is finished--to arrange the words as close to the paragon's list as possible. The paragon should act as timekeeper if you've time limits.

Compare the lists. Two items in the same order made a sequence. Every sequence a team made that matches the paragon's list counts for n-1 points, where n is the number of terms in the sequence.

Sum up team points, and declare the winning team.

Sum up individual points and team points, and declare the winning individual(s).

The winning person chooses the next name. The winning team nominates the next paragon.

Example of Play

[Insert example of play here when you decide to become professional, Will.]


Team and individual game, requires one moderator.
Play for points, in ~10 minute rounds.
Setup ~5 minutes per round.


Pick teams, paragon. Agree on time limits.

Pick name. Make words out of that name.

Make lists. Match sequences for team points.

Record winners of the round.



High points:

0. Tuba music @ .02-1.22 = Marveloso!

1. Physics @ .31 = Yay for pulleys and friction.

2. ? @ .58 = Where does the hammer come from, again?

3. He has aviator goggles @ 2.05-2.10 = The goggles, they do nothing.

4. Wings @ 2.05-2.28? = The glory of futility.

5. Tears of joy @ 2.19

Goodnight, kiwi.


Lent 1 Saturday

The cock crowed again, and several of the Irishmen cried, 'Mac na h'Oighe slan.'

'What do the say?' asked Jack, tuning to Stephen.

‘Hail to the Virgin's Son,' said Stephen. ‘We say that in Ireland, when we hear the first cockcrow of the day, so that if we meet a sudden death before the day is out , we may also meet with grace.

(O'Brian, Patrick. The Fortune of War, Chapter Nine.)

I have loved the Aubrey-Maturin seafaring novels of Patrick O'Brian since our first acquiantance, which must have been these couple or three years now. I love the superstition above. If I might quibble regarding the self interested, ungenerous theology, the object of the hail at least is dear.

Crown Him the virgin's Son
The God incarnate born
Whose arm those crimson trophies won
Which now His brow adorn

As well, I have great affection for Crowm Him With Many Crowns, the hymn by Bridges, and later, Thring. I hadn't the foggiest notion before googling "Hail to the Virgin's Son" that one of the stanzas of the old hymn referenced the Mother of God, the Christbearer.

I do wonder what the crimson trophies are that his arm won,--is suffering a crown?

Crown Him the Son of God
Before the worlds began
And ye who tread where He hath trod
Crown Him the Son of man
Who every grief hath known
That wrings the human breast
And takes and bears them for His own
That all in Him may rest

The appeal to Jesus' dominion, to the coming of his kingdom, I rarely have heard so directly expressed. Perhaps I do not attend well. Like most hymns, I take more from reading it than singing it.

The "son of man." How absurdly evocative.



The Edge of the Pit

We are born, and we suffer until we go;
We live till we die, and that's all we know,
Neither what the purpose nor whose the game
To make us, break us, with pain and shame.
We are brought to a board where there's all we wish---
But the cook's gone mad and has fouled each dish;
We can plan and make; we can think and do---
But the prize is a husk, worm-eaten, too;
Our minds are a marvel, as all agree,
And our bodies as well, but the two don't gee,
So they live in a permanent tug of war,
To each the other a scab and a bore;
And we have two sexes, fashioned to mate
In the flesh so well, but their spirits hate,
So the joy of a body is no part
Of the soul's delight and dies in the heart
Of a gangrenous blight. Yet we plant the seed
For the force of our lust and callously breed
A brood to inherit our rotten lot
And to scorn and hate us, as why should they not
When we act the lunatic Judas goat
For the miserable get on whom we dote;
Though they are as silly and warped as we,
As doomed to despair and futility,
As bound to be robbed of whatever they crave,
As lucky in finally finding a grave.
But we blather to them what was blithered to us
And babble our praise of the barbarous,
So that they in turn can swindle their kith
With a pitiful, sniveling, coward's myth
Of the wisdom and plan behind it all;
"Sing praise and let the hosannas fall!"
Is the constant bellow of dupe to dupe,
The idiot maundering of the group,
All bleating their fables in coined belief---
But leave an adult to his knowledge and grief.

And so another quarter is past, and I must post. It is a law I find, that the more distraught I am the less diction I command, and yet--

The above is an excerpt from John Myers Myers excellent _Silverlock_. If you are unfamiliar, by all means, go read the book. Save catastrophe I'll wait until you're back.

Good. Now you know that although the above is marvelously pithy, it is by no means the common tone of the novel; in the words of the immortal Wm. Goldman, there is "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles." Although in truth there are rather more strongest men in the world in _The Princess Bride_, and rather more ennui, despair, selfishness, transformation, and the recovery of hope and promise in _Silverlock_. Also far more poetry. Some day I'll post on the excellence of the "Death Lay of Bowie Gizzardsbane," and track down all the allusions of "The River Runs South."

What occasions my theft of words is the last month having the longest succession of depressions of my life. I shall write as if explaining, though I do not intend that this should ever be seen by any but me: I have occasional weakness emotionally whereby if I become down, I can not get up to face the day(s), usually two or three. In this last month, I didn't report to my job or worship God for three weeks. I made it up enough not to soil myself and to eat every two or three days, but I could find no drive.

Edited 2008 Apr 16 Wednesday to note that this set of depressions lasted longer than any other in my life; if measure made sense in oblivion, I'd say it was worse than any other period of my life. That I've risen since Easter I can exemplify thus: a friend and I ate lunch today, and he didn't understand why I was so severely afflicted--I had explained some of my triggers to him previously, and so he suggested that I might hate myself due to latent pedophilia or homosexuality. I then laughed that off, which is my example of grace--thank God, I do not struggle in those ways; if I did, would I have the strength to write this? Would I still write at all? And my friend's point was not gaucherie or cruelty: there is hope enough for us all. Even for me. Even those who conflate sex and children, or who unlearn manhood and become as women, to men; or unlearn womanhood and become as men, to women.