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Multiverse of Palimpsests: Reversed Magnetism of Words

Stones look like jewels in the waters passing through.

— Unknown

Words are burdensome without the vibrant stream of thoughts to unload them. The lodestone of the mind attracts all the bits of stray iron nearby — those rusty fragments that litter the magnetism of language — until the one who carries them falls. As much as words can conjure up the magic buried in the deepest oceanic trench, make the sun triple itself believably, or give a single electron a chance to dance, words can just as surely upend the lodestone’s opposing poles and repel what was once attracted, while the law of reciprocity brings in what was repulsive. The worst of those bits of iron cling together, burdensome words upon words, in a multiverse of palimpsests where nothing is erased and all other worlds are folded upon the other, smothering an alternate storyline before it can ever diverge. No matter where you go, there you are, with a world of words and nowhere to begin, not without fighting against what never relents, the perpetual pull of that magnetism turned on its head. This is a desert made of iron sand, a charred-skillet shore that gives way to a bottomless sea, a placeless place only certain in its lack of thirsty channels for thought, once satiated by their own bounty. That lodestone magnetizes the scraps of words, imparting the burden with its own weakness that was a strength, the perpetual influx of words, words, words.

And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

— Shakespeare’s, As You Like It

Suppose that burdensome lodestone and all the words it has gathered rolls out of the cognitive backpack and into the dry creek bed. Nothing comes from nothing, but the rejuvenating waters of thought run throughout the sodden world of the mind. There is no escaping the pull of that lodestone, since it rests between our temples and is the seat of ourself, but there is the moment of a full breath, one that blows away the oxidized shells from the iron bits, like all the carapaces of the inner-world breaking open and drifting away, down, down, just as the precious bits within open their wings, unburdened by the very thing that had nurtured them into continuance. Trickles of thought begin to fill that creek bed, until a hidden spring on the top of the mountain in the metaphorical distance bursts forth, sending cold water cascading down, drowning the lodestone and its gathered bits in a little river of an idea.

Through the still places of that water, where the bits of polished iron have made punctuated dams — eddies of question marks and barriers of exclamations, rocky ellipses— the lodestone invites other fragments that pass along, some clinging on, others dancing around, until the current takes them beyond, on a path that never ends, one that never takes the same route twice but always finds its way back to that lodestone. Through the light of the moment upon the current of thoughts, that lodestone looks like a nameless jewel, glistening in its duality, the magnetism that brings words closer to meaning.

Hayden Moore

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