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Am I pressing forward like a knight on a great journey, moving slowly through the forest in my scant armour, anxious before every clearing, aware that at any moment I might be overcome by my enemies? Or have I set myself in a little cottage with a mean fire in a dirty stove with smoke staining the windows? And am I digging through the ashes looking for something which won’t be there—a glint of gold or silver or something else entirely, smoked, mesmirizing, complete & occupying… (—& is this death itself?)

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