Ask Meno Questions • Chrysalis


Memories of being held
      In closely knit spheres
And guided beyond the orbits
      Of childhood fears
Entrusted with a word
      That rustles in a breath
And warrants respect for
      The not yet beautiful

In Honor of My Parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary
Jon Awbrey, Amherst, Massachusetts, March 21, 1996

“That is a chrysalis”, she said, when I showed her that funny-looking thing on the leaf. In that moment I, the thing, and the word were one. I learned a word, I wrapped it around a new-found thing, and I listened in wonder to my mother’s story of what it was and what it would be.

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5 Responses to Ask Meno Questions • Chrysalis

  1. Poor Richard says:

    Dear Meno,

    when we practice rhetorical or surgical arts
    how much can we take away from a thing
    before what’s left is no longer that thing
    but only some orphaned parts?


    • Jon Awbrey says:

      I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine.

      • Poor Richard says:

        That’s the same answer I would give. IMO the question of universals and wholeness is unsolvable by logic, but second-nature to brains. A brain knows a thing’s type or a part from a whole when it sees it. The so-called universal or whole is entirely the prerogative of each individual brain based on its history of associations.

      • Jon Awbrey says:

        I think Plato and/or Socrates might have liked this answer, inasmuch as — to the best of my recollection — the dialogue is really an exploration of Pythagorean teachings about the immortality of the soul (metempsychosis) and learning as recollection (anamnesis).

  2. Poor Richard says:

    There one was seeker empirical
    who questioned the limits of spherical
    and the outermost bound
    it can be out of round
    before it becomes polyhedrical


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