On Fall (defining the question)
October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
Tell me, Galileo, of this silly poesy we call autumn. Tell me of its φυσικός: its interlocking clockwork; tell me of what Keats—that dripping Romantic—so delightfully mystified with his provocative magic. Tell me this, Galileo, and prove it to me; geometrically, if you must. Whichever method, I know that it will be a beautiful proof, for could there ever be a rapport more esthetically sublime than that of a proposition with its “Q.E.D.”?If indeed, as you say, all objects fall at the same rate, then what of the Fall of Man? Then what, I ask you, of the Fall of Year?
First, would you mind if we took a “shot”?
Often, it is helpful to begin by defining our terms. Autumn, for instance, is but a duration. It only now strikes me how this term—i.e. “duration” or “pure duration”—might very well function here in its Bergsonian sense, if we choose take the sequence of “Year” to be that of a life—specifically, that within which we create our individual lives. How mysterious it is to retain this encounter between interior life and global ecosystem! Autumn is nothing more (as if this is not everything) than the point at which both may dissolve. Really, it is the point at which all may dissolve; eternally and nevermore the same, but not without some semblance of regeneration. There can be no model of greater appropriateness than the circle.
Upon the incidental, mythological correlation with Adam and Eve—we can take our original term even further to mean the duration of paradise itself. In other words, a life is all that is paradise. The Garden, it follows, is that of the automation of the circle’s sinusoidal trajectory—the wave. Through this symmetry, the framework of paradise logically reveals itself. The qualification arises that it is inherently contrary to the notion of paradise to, as it were, lose grandeur. If Bergson is correct in describing our perception of time as a succession of independently unique microstates, then the literal flow of time within any paradise is subject to repeat if it is to maintain its singularity of position of paradise as such. Boredoms, whatever the apparent cause, always fundamentally arise through a conceived remapping of temporally definable and “actually subsequent” multiplicities as a set of fixed reiterations. These “actually subsequent” states are, despite the passed judgment, nonetheless new. Hypothetically, it would take but a mere lapse of memory for them to be new once again—memory itself is nothing more than precisely this kind of unintelligibly swift renaissance of states occurred. It begs the question of whether or not memory is eternal in paradise, for it would be less of a paradox to imagine a constant renewal then a constant creation.
To again bring up the images of a wave and its relation to the circle, we find that it is now quite easy to place autumn at the fractional path anticipating each spatial period’s culmination. Its end, never more absolute than what constitutes as first snow, is naturally the limit as n paradise approaches n+1 paradise.
Having now established the proper metaphorical discourse, the original question becomes much more accessible. Could we even attempt to rephrase into more precise language?
For instance, could we now ask the question: “If Summer and Spring are indeed the leisurely flowering months, then what of the Fall, and how is Winter made necessarily possible by it?”
Or is it better to phrase it in more universal terms: “How is that which approaches the end of a cycle unique from the cycle itself, especially if that cycle is eternity and each iteration structurally identical?”
It occurs to me that maybe what we are really searching for is what makes the Fall so sad and beautiful all at once.
This, clearly, is reaching too far. Why is it that I feel you, Galileo, would agree with me on this point?