Haiku after Wittgenstein

I am already

riding this bicycle o-

ver the roadside curb


“Wittgenstein, in a well-known passage in the Philosophical Investigations, describes what happens when someone, watching another person writing down a sequence numbers, suddenly grasps how the series is developing: ‘Now I can go on!’ The principle of the series will be expressible in a formula: yet it is not, says Wittgenstein, that ‘a formula occurs to [the observer]’ when the observer successfully continues the series. Understanding is not in that sense a ‘mental process,’ the summoning up of a key principle by conscious thought, it is the skill or confidence to go on, to follow the series through: a skill in the exercise of a habit, if you like. It is as Wittgenstein goes on to argue, like the experience of reading. We don’t apply a procedure in our minds, a series of operations that allows us to move from seeing a sign to making a noise or at least imagining making a noise; we simply exercise a skill, closer to knowing how to ride a bicycle than performing a calculation.” Rowan Williams, The Edge of Words (2016) 68-69

Epigram: Epitaph of Skythinos, a Village School Teacher


My name is Skythinos, not the author

of Herakleitos Commentaries

but just one epigram. I wrote it while

at school and Plato saw it and kicked me out.

It was in praise of Beauty, origin

of mind. It sealed my fate. I tutored children

in this village and died a pauper. Do not pity

me; flowers grow here all year round.



Haiku: Time’s leaping into being

Time is mortal. It is perhaps the most mortal “thing” — the essence of mortality.  But in a particularly dense and poetic passage, Desmond speaks of the origin of time: “The ecstasy of time is time’s own ecstasy, but as given from the origin, it is also a rejoicing with the origin which leaps in its leaping . . .” (God and the Between 297).

eternity loves time

my cat toys with his old toy

a fine pas de deux


NOTES Other possible sections:  time’s ecstacy ,  time flows in time . . .

Aphorism: The Gift of Time

The ambiguity of the “of” in the phrase “the gift of time” is confusing but ultimately helpful. There ARE two interpretations, and each has its truth.

Time presupposes its other as eternity. This is dialectical logic and is supported by usage. So we can say that time is the gift of eternity. “The gift of time.”

The second interpretation is also valid: all things happen in time. “The gifts of time.”  This is a matter of contention, perhaps; idealists protest but the logic holds in usage. The space we live and move in is temporal; we are temporal. Every thing is the gift of time.

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