Beautiful friend, they read Whitman, too: “All goes onward, and outward, nothing collapses / And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” Then, a week later, they read this from Donald Justice, and I say, Let’s read it aloud; let’s read it slower. “One day the sickness will pass from the earth for good.” Then I say, Thank you. Thank you. And, Will you please read that again?


I keep reading your e-mails. They’re staggering sometimes.


On November 15th, 2009, while caring for your dying father, you wrote:


“life enters, arrives from. my father is very near to that place. these months have been the most important of my life. the comings and goings of life are riddled with opportunities to fail to see the eternity in presence. pain, i think, awakens us to that presence — it happens in the fragility of our bodies. there is pain in the beginning of life as in the end. my father has become something quite like ‘more’ present as he begins to depart [...] i have known more of god these months than at any other time.”


On February 5th, 2011, while studying at the University of Chicago, you wrote:


“everyone after hegel has this untouchable area that they refuse to call god. freud’s unconscious. lacan’s other-than-phallus. heidegger’s other-than-being. derrida’s other-than-otherness. and they all could never have come to be without augustine. i think all of contemporary thinking is a pussyfooting around god. and if whitehead was right, that the history of philosophy is nothing other than footnotes to plato, then i am right, that modernity and its aftermath is nothing but footnotes to augustine. heidegger’s stripping of subjectivity from aquinas (from augustine). derrida’s stripping of subjectivity from heidegger (from aquinas (from augustine)). and there’s this gaping that everyone peers into, if only to manipulate grammar such that verbs cease to need subjects. […] all the while, people continue to come into and pass out of our lives. we eat, we drink, we die.