The nearness of the distant

I’ve done a bad job updating this blog so far, so I’m going for a shift of focus: I’m going to make it more personal. I apologize for the gaps in posts so far. Scouts honor–and I was a Boy Scout–I’m going to post more regularly from now on. So to get to business…

I’m nearing my final weeks of junior year. Clouds cover the sky like a rumpled old blanket, sapping color from the St. Bonaventure campus. I imagine Heidegger walking by the nearby river on such days, his steel gray hair matching the clouds, his footsteps lagging as a new thought turns over in his head. He was a heavy guy. Even his name. Heidegger.

I’m writing a paper, drawing from an essay he wrote: “Who is Zarathurstra?” He analyzes the unity he sees between Nietzsche’s concepts of “overman” and “eternal recurrence,” doctrines threaded through Nietzsche’s works. The ideas are heavy, sunken cathedrals built on traditions of metaphysics dating back to Plato.

Through the dry but brilliant essay, a line stands out: “Longing is the agony of the nearness of the distant.”

Sometimes philosophy has poetry wedged between the arguments; the line captures my mood during these final weeks.

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