Immortal Dust

Yesterday in MMM Prof. F closed up the Phaedo: “The soul is immortal.”

“Say it to yourselves like an incantation.” And so he recommended that his students do something just like that.

He allowed one of his oh-so-characteristic pregnant pauses, before half-whispering (I doubt he can whisper any better than I can):

“The soul is immortal.

The soul is immortal.

The soul is immortal.”

Yesterday was also Ash Wednesday. After MMM I went to chapel with Prof. L. (Reminiscent of Oxford days, especially given the liturgy of the service.)

I thought about (and heard) this other, contrasting incantation:

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

After chapel I walked back 3rd L. in silence, along salt-dusty sidewalks, hiding an ash cross under my bangs. Grimy, fragile and finite.

To my left, K.S. cut across the quad alone. She stalked heron-like across it, her jacket buoyantly red but hardly visible given the overwhelming light reflected from the white snow-mirror of the quad. Bright and immortal.

Immortal dust. It’s a Pascalian sort of conclusion.

Threes.

My Systematic Theology class has been talking about the Trinity this past week, and we’ve had some wonderful and eye-opening class periods. (Also, I didn’t think to keep track of exactly what prayers we were looking at, but we read some prayers from the Eastern Orthodox liturgy together and they were moving and beautiful, etc.)

Post to follow. Quotes probably also to follow.

For now, a photo.