Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
The suffering of casuistry, of denial, of the equation of pleasure with force, which has been the lot of every Virginian since the taking root of a peculiar institution in his midst, has finally come to the attention of the universe of pupils in the watershed, eye-opening years of their ostensible idyll as undergraduates at their commonwealth's supreme institutional ornament. This has exposed the institution's unblinkable inadequacy as that buffer between an-guished assumption and development which marks radiant academies of this world, famous and not, as oases of surpassing trust. We know the innocence of the innocents is necessary, we have observed that it is wise, and that it can be redeemed. They, every civilization has emerged to protect. Inevitably, it falls to this university, at last, to choose them.
I cannot look long at any old photo- graph of the city without hearing some music in the background.
The voice is the immigrant, Charles Simic, a poet-laur- eate of the United States, born in Belgrade and living in New Hampshire. He admits to loving soccer, and I ad- mit, I don't. The harp with- in the city is our bridge.
I have lots of acquaintances who conceive of our world in comestible terms, with the consequence that to recommend something to one of them is a mistake to do in the hearing of another. This is because of human variety, a reality which many enthusiasms would prefer not to exist. And so I told my friend, when he'd overheard me in that way, that I couldn't propose to waste his time with one resource, at the expense to himself of a more suitable one. Good to know, he said. I will trust you. God help me.
As if certain algae that keep islands of skeletons alive, that make living rock from trash, from carcasses left behind by others, as if algae were to produce out of themselves and what they most fear the detritus over whose kingdom they preside: the burning fountain is the imagination within us that ingests and by its devouring generates what is most antithetical to itself:
it returns the intolerable as brilliant dream, visible, opaque, teasing analysis: makes from what you find hardest to swallow, most indigestible, your food.