I have heard that the unusual strength of Japanese blades is due to the intense tempering process which worked the blades to a point well beyond what was usual in the West. I have a Wikipedia article open but my cursory examination of the text (only the merest part) does not confirm or deny this knowledge. I don’t have the patience or the time to go into this any further. I am not writing this because I am comparing myself to a Japanese blade which must go through an extremely strenuous tempering process in order to become strong. I am not writing this because I feel as if I am being tested or because my strength is faltering but I see some positive outcome on the other end. I am not writing this because I have been heated and bent in half and in this state I can only look forward to some future where I have been reformed into a blade much sharper and stronger than most. I am only writing this to demonstrate my curiosity in Japanese blades, albeit a curiosity that pertains only to their relevance to myself, to a fact that may not be true but corresponds to a vague feeling that I have or think I have.

We might say that the moon has two distinct properties, these being:

a) cold
b) distant

And that these two properties in some way limit our ability to experience the moon. But what is distance? Is it not true that the moon may be visible at all times during the periods of the day it is active, even when it has waned to shadow or outline? Seeing the moon can one not imagine his or herself on the moon? Can one not hold an image of the moon in one’s mind? Can one not imagine oneself on its surface? And of its coldness, can one not view the moon from the comfort of one’s bed? Is this not done? But we were speaking of a physical coldness, a physical distance. Coldness and distance in their real sense. But are there not systems for mitigating cold? Can the distance not be traversed? Yes but to touch it one has to wear a suit. And what is a suit? Is it not just a covering? Is there not something underneath? If a leg touches a table through a pair of pants do we say that the leg is not touching the table? Or do we say that only the pants touch? To travel to the moon is of prohibitive cost. But is it not done? Is the cost truly prohibitive? Is travel to the moon so dear that no one has undertaken it?

If I write it quickly then I will have something to work with and it is always better to have something to work with. But suppose it is not good. Suppose it is written so poorly because I have written it quickly that it would be better if I had not written at all. Then write it slowly. But I am writing it slowly and it seems as if I will never finish. There is always the danger as everyone knows of working too slowly, so slowly that the thing escapes you. In that case work at your own pace. But suppose I have no pace, he thought.

I am a small thing, an extremely small thing. Outside skating on the ice in the driveway, wearing slip-ons meant for August, watched two ravens tear out of the canopy, wings heavy (I could hear their beat) and voices going. Two, so I’m not sure whether they were mating or mobbing, but they paused (mid-air) over cedars, circling, building to the apex, then down again. Some centre, real or ritual. Reminds me, now, of two camped on a stubbed toe of pink granite polished by the wind’s constant beat (no relent), me one, watching a gang struggle against the current, wings furious, bodies paused, then slipping back in the flow. Now, on the router, a western conifer, six legs delicate, belly-cattled, heavy, settled over the second of the two bars, and I think I am a small thing, an extremely small thing.

“It’s true, as I’ve told others, that knowing one knows nothing is the best way to be, since life, minute after minute, is never more than being inspired to rediscover what one thought one already knew. I did know it, but… No, not “but”: and I’m about to know it again, right now.”

—Harry Mathews, 20 Lines a Day

I installed a horoscope app into my web browser and every day it is wrong. This was not always the case. Until I told the app I was a man the horoscopes it displayed for me once felt applicable or at least potentially applicable. Now the horoscopes are always bad. Not just wrong which I suspect they are but bad. Every day the app says I will face unforeseen problems and that there will be consequences though potentially another way out of those problems and their consequences. I am not sure what they are referring to. I don’t know what they mean by problems and consequences or whether that means I am blind or they are on their way or my not knowing about them means I have found solutions to problems and consequences that I was not even aware existed. I tried changing the settings so that I could go back to the gender-neutral or female or whatever horoscopes but this did not work, the app is still stuck on the same awful horoscopes with their awful predictions and I am not sure whether that means something is coming or I am living life correctly (and avoiding problems and their consequences without even realizing that I am doing so) or missing the obvious difficulties that anyone else receiving such awful horoscopes could not help but notice.