To hold the attention of a Sunday school class, my brother said, he once had to eat a piece of chalk. He never said what the lesson was about, just that the chalk was tasteless and thoroughly indigestible.
Watching a video of Borges giving a talk, I’m struck by the way he keeps smiling at something three feet above the heads of his audience. And how, seeing his smiles come and go, they smile too, pleased by their proximity to such a famous solitude which they are sure must be filled with light.
I’ve kept all the glass ashtrays from when I used to smoke, lovely as the stained glass of a church in which I can no longer kneel.