Well here we go. Eating history. This morning I ate the Council of Trent. After hundreds of years it still tastes like mercury and toe nails. You, my reader, unknowing perhaps, are also eating the past. Leadbelly: “I could not eat my breakfast, the blues were all in my bread…”
Up early, eating the past. I break off a crust. A child is dragged from his mother, sold into slavery.
Take another bite. The child grows up to be lynched. There’s even a town named for the event: Lynchburg.
In truth you don’t decide to eat the past. Leadbelly is correct. It’s already in the bread.
Gandhi knew this. His hunger strikes were more complex than people ordinarily understand.
Sometimes you just have to get acquired tastes out of your mouth.
Sometimes you have to stand on one leg and weep.
Auden said: “Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table.”
But evil is also what we eat.
It cannot be digested, only incorporated. This is why Derrida invented Gram-otology.
One spends a life picking through the unsavory ingredients.
This morning I’m eating history cold and with no sugar.