for Ania - heaven restores you in life...
A and B were friends.
A was dying of grief but did not understand nor, indeed, could not communicate the nature of his anguish, least of all to his friend, B.
B, certain that the source of A's anguish was nothing more than the casual indifference of the universe, resolved to furnish A with some degree of alleviation.
This alleviation was to take the shape of sage advice from B to A, which was to be transported in the form of a message.
However, B, knowing that A, in his grief, would not listen, passed the message unto C, along with strict instructions that this message was to be passed unto D, E, F, etc.
Furthermore, D, E, F, etc, along with C, were to pass the message unto their respective A, B and C's, and so forth, so that the message would find infinite dispersal.
It was B's hope that the message would be passed unto A without A realising that there was ever in fact a message, or that, more importantly, it had originated from B.
In short, the message that B had cleverly and meticulously constructed was to arrive haphazardly and by chance and something in the form of an epiphany.
B, no stranger to the game Chinese Whispers and the lesson it carries, was fully aware that there was every chance that A would receive a message that had been distorted beyond all recognition - a message that not only would fail to realise B's intentions but one that could, potentially, be counterproductive.
Quite unsurprisingly, however, B, concerned for A, decided that it was a risk worth taking.
And so the message, the sage advice, B's gift of alleviation to A, quickly spread out into the world with the efficiency, proficiency of cancerous cells.---
H, friend to an A that knew a C who knew another C that our B knew, found himself in possession of B's message and, having no one else to pass it onto, signed it unto his own A, a chimpanzee.
This chimpanzee not understanding that not everything is sentient, and in fact unaware that the word sentient even exists, eagerly and expectantly signed the message unto a giant, impassive tree.
And, here, it was thought that the message, as delivered by H - friend, as you'll remember, to an A that knew a C who knew another C that our B knew - had died.---
However - and in these stories there is always a "however" - the behaviour of the chimpanzee was noted, and the message, now in a different form, distorted, was passed back and forth by members of the scientific community in the form of an amusing anecdote.(Incidentally, it should be noted that some of the members of this scientific community were also once A, B and C's of other A, B and C's that personally knew our A and B.)
It was during this time that the now barely recognisable message - which, you'll remember, is now in the form of an amusing anecdote - was intercepted by a linguist who decided to include the fact of its existence into his Structure of Language textbook under the chapter, "Animal Communication."
and here the ouroboros chokes on its own tail
A, now (quite coincidentally) a student of linguistics, read in his Structure of Language textbook, under the chapter, "Animal Communication," a quaint anecdote about a chimpanzee signing a message unto a curiously impassive tree, and, in this, saw a poignant analogy for the human condition.
It was in this poignant analogy that A realised that the source of his anguish was in fact the casual indifference of the universe and that, most importantly, its punitive disposition was not as much willful as it was ubiquitous.
And A, having received B's message, distorted and delayed though it was, found that he was no longer dying of grief.
A, having had reconciled himself to the casual indifference of the universe, was now dying of boredom.
and anyway there was no proof
nor a motive why
Published on Thursday, 9 June 2005
I hope that what I have written will be of some assistance.