It’s Bouphonia’s second anniversary today, and believe it or not, I almost didn’t notice. It’s been a whirlwind year, after all! Between writing a monograph on antique oyster-tins, serving as a consultant and – I hope – trusted friend to civic leaders from Murmansk to Vorkuta, building a cruise missile, and lisping rococo blandishments into the fragrant ears of doe-eyed admirers, it’s a miracle that I found time to produce this exquisite body of work, alongside of which the most ardent scribblings of Edgar Saltus are a mere footnote.
There’d be enough honor in that, God knows. But I think we also ought to acknowledge my fortitude. Not so much because I wish your admiration – I’m quite certain I have that – but on the off chance that it will inspire others to greater efforts (if not – perish the thought! – greater accomplishments). Though I'm crazy with horror and rage over the events of the past year, I've still found the heart to busy myself with all sorts of abstruse speculative maundering, and to serve it forth in lumbering, affected prose that's as protective of my shattered nerves as Republicans are of predatory pedophiles.
But perhaps I protest too much. Honestly, it sounds harder than it is. Nine-tenths of the battle is having good working methods. Mine are modeled closely on the filliae acediae enumerated by Giorgio Agamben in his consideration of monastic sloth:
[P]usilllanimitas, the “small soul” and the scruple that withdraws constantly before the difficulty and effort of spiritual existence; desperatio, the dark and presumptuous certainty of being already condemned, and the complacent sinking into one’s own destruction, as if nothing, least of all divine grace, could provide salvation; torpor, the obtuse and somnolent stupor that paralyzes any gesture that might heal; and finally, evagatio mentis (wandering of the mind), the flight of the will before itself and the restless hastening from fantasy to fantasy. The latter manifests itself in verbositas (garrulity), the proliferation of vain and tedious speech; curiositas, the insatiable desire to see for seeing’s sake….instabilitas loci vel propositi, the petulant incapability of fixing an order and a rhythm to one’s thought.See? That’s how we do it on our side, yo, so don’t none of u hataz be trippin’.
Anyway, thanks for putting up with the past year’s ramblings. The friends I've made while blogging are very dear to me; the education I've gotten from you is invaluable and humbling - invaluable because it's humbling - and what hope I have for the future comes from my everyday experience of your kindness, wisdom, and humor. Here’s hoping that we grow old together (I warn you, though, that I was born with a considerable head start).
Unless you’ve got a bottle or two of laudanum to spare, I ask for no gifts. But do drop in and say hello, especially if you’re a lurker, to assure me that we are good fellow creatures, and I am not contemn'd by you.
(Illustration: Skeletons Warming Themselves At a Stove (1889) by James Ensor.)
UPDATE: Thers has posted some home movies from the dear dead days. Oh, the times we had! Our like will not be here again, begob.