A chance, or nothing at all

All existence a slender reed, a tinsel strand, a chance, or nothing at all. (Jeffrey Lewis, in The Conference of the Birds)

I got to thinking again today about how unlikely it is that we’re all here right now. And, inspired by this improbable state of affairs, I began to tingle and thrill – as I invariably do when such things come to mind.

Ah! but soon I will have forgotten again, lapsing into semiconsciousness once more.

In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, ‘ since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, ‘ patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.
(Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1888)

Lewis, Jeffrey. (2005). The conference of the birds. New York: Other Press. [p92]


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