And thank you, Lawrence, for this tidy little memoir...
On 2011-09-05, at 7:40 AM, Lawrence Upton wrote:
> Dear Fr Andre
> Thank you. It suddenly looked wrong.
> I recall, when I was very young, and uninhibited by lack of skill and
> carpentry knowledge, needing a hammer. I was building an ark or an
> alternative universe and couldn't find a hammer. I repeat the word
> deliberately here because, not seeing a hammer immediately, I demanded my
> mother tell me where I could find one. But what I really remember is that,
> as I used the word, it sounded utterly wrong and I had a sense that there
> was no such thing.
> Nowadays I might connect this with sf stories of aliens assuming that what
> we know is what we know -- what do you mean, You don't know what a hammer
> But this was odd. My mother denied knowing anything about the whereabouts
> of hammers and suggested I look for it, but she was clearly happy with the
> idea of the category hammer; whilst I was doubly confused that she knew
> what a hammer was when I had a strong feeling there is no such thing.
> I am never forget.
> I heard ego te absolvo often until i was 14; so I have had lots of time to
> forget. (I listened to a radio catholic service between 8 and 9 last
> Sunday, before I stood upright; and I was vaguely appalled, though I am
> not sure exactly why. I had hoped to be somewhere else anyway; and to have
> failed and to hear was peculiar.)
> But I heard it week in week out when young and said in an Irish accent.
> Father, I have sinned.
> That's all right, my child. I dissolve you in tea.
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Continuations (with Sheila E Murphy)
It is natural to speak of your own weaknesses so winsomely they will seem strengths, as if everyone else is inadequate if they do not have your inadequacies.
William H. Gass