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A wise man once said…

In his Honor Thesis, James Joseph Black wrote, “the young have read little and compared less.  Stringency is not their forte.”

Black, James Joseph, “Hesse and the Hippies: The Sociology of a Literory Phenomenon” (1990). Honors Theses. Paper 232

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Is it True?

You and I share a goal, I think.

 

To attempt to engage life as honestly as possible, and to ever be working towards ENGAGING that which scares you/us/me/them  in an effort to- maybe….one day…find ourselves at the doorstep of a place that we’ve always wanted to see [fka ‘be’] even though it’s a place that is unseen currently-but wait, that not quite the right way to put it.

 

More accurately, it is a place that a RELATIVELY small number of people ‘know’ about. But it is a place of ex·or·bi·tant power.

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In Dreams

In my dream thePeople have come to theHouse just to put on the same show they had put on with giant marionnettes the previous night. I fell asleep with my head in Neil’s lap during this slight reprisal/respite/reprise(?)

I woke up in the smack-middle of the night, super ill. I walked into a bathroom to see my sickly green face looking back at me but then it became Neal’s face-it was his reflection before me but he was standing behind me, asking if I was alright. The optics and refraction math does not tally.

But no-matter, because then it was time to go to the theater. big red the carpet and the door was not tall.

The theater was not large.

We were given programs on our way into the theater. The program had one printed sentence only- inside the leaflet-and it simply read Your Body will Take Care of You.

We sit down and settle in and the movie started but all that appears is a black screen with white letters reading “don’t turn around”. And for just the time it took me to read those words, I then immediately begin to feel something, something tapping my back, mouthing and whispering, and frantically, hell, almost hysterically, trying to get MyAttention. It feels like a lesson of endurance and although I knew I wasn’t supposed to turn around:

How long can

you ignore the thing that is t-

ap,

tapping

you on the shoulder & saying ps-

-st, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pstvv, pstv, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, pst, ps

PSST,

pst, pst, pst, pst,

pst, pstpst

Utterly Inexorable, it was more than I could take.

I remember turning around

not by choice but just because and

then I woke up again and started again.

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DaemonsDiabolusDervish (fictiony/early days)

Anon, Anon Dear Reader (readers render) delighted to find you still looking at my letter/s, my Epistle.

 

For this now, let’s simply concern ourselves with what in the world is meant by the word diabolus in the passage below*

 

“Other centuries sought safety in the union of reason and religion, research and asceticism.  In their Universitas Litterarum, theology ruled.  Among us we use meditation, the fine gradations of yoga technique, in our efforts to exorcise the beast within us and the diabolus dwelling in every branch of knowledge…[The] Glass Bead Game also has its hidden diabolus, that it can lead to empty virtuosity, to artistic vanity, to self-advancement, to the seeking of power over others and then to the abuse of that power.  This is why we need another kind of education beside the intellectual and submit ourselves to the morality of the Order, not in order to reshape our mentally active life into a psychically vegetative dream-life, but on the contrary to make ourselves fit for the summit of intellectual achievement. We do not intend to flee from the vita activa to the vita contemplativa, nor vice versa, but to keep moving forward while alternating between the two, being at home in both, partaking of both.” 1

Hesse, Hermann 1990 The Glass Bead Game: (Magister Ludi). New York: H. Holt pg. 237

 

One devil is the “beast within us”

The other devil (the ‘hidden’ one) is “dwelling in every branch of knowledge.”  This sounds like the The Devil who is in the details.  Where are branches of knowledge located?  In our minds? In the system of interactions occurring in our brains?  In the ether? In consciousness? Is this the same beast slithering in the branches of the forbidden Tree of Knowledge who met Adam and Eve in the Garden?

 

Upon eating from the Tree of Knowledge, did Adam and Eve gain nothing more than “empty virtuosity” or “artistic vanity” or the desire to possess and subsequently wield power?

 

Hesse says this “required a new type of education”  One that moved forward in both vita activa and vita contemplativa. We should be forever alternating between the two.  Instead of engaging in a binary opposition. The tension emerges from the dialectic theory and practice of weighing and reconciling juxtaposed or contradictory arguments for the purpose of arriving at truth especially through discussion and debate. This emerging tension should be the object of our inquiry.

 

Which side of a coin is really heads and which side is really tails?  That is a meaningless question.

 

In order to determine which face was Janus’ true face, shall we pit one face against the other in a death battle.  The surviving face must be the true face of Janus. (?) Well that is a dumb idea because there is one body serving two faces.  If the faces each could have their own brain, they would be in competition for control over the same two arms and legs. He would be injuring his own limbs in his effort to destroy the ‘wrong’ face.  Could such a fight even occur?

 

Knowledge is not necessarily knowing.  Knowledge only exists if there is a knower, right? I contend that there is only one meaningful way to use the word “Knowledge”: I know knowledge.

 

Consider the following:

 

“Many years ago, It was common knowledge that the Earth was flat.  Presently, it is common knowledge that the Earth is not flat. What was common knowledge many years ago disagrees with what is common knowledge today.”  

 

Is it true that the Earth is an orb?  I suppose it depends on who you ask, or to be more specific, when you ask.  

 

If you asked a common man many years ago, “Is it true that the Earth is flat.”  He would probably affirm that statement.  

 

If you asked someone today, “Is it true that the Earth is flat?”  She would probably say, “What? Of course not, they figured out that was incorrect a long time ago.  The Earth is round.”


So, does that mean that the people many years ago-who believed it to be common knowledge that the Earth is flat-were being untruthful?  Were they lying when they said it was true that the Earth was flat?

 

No-they just did not know their existing knowledge was delusion; anyone can have knowledge of (x).

 

Knowledge can’t be truly possessed in a tangible way; being able to transplant the eternal, energetic potential of verb-forms into the dirt of the transient, physical world of everyday life is no trick. lt is magic and it is also alchemy: as four fundamental processes can transmutate the eternal matter of a verb into a noun – a thing, person or place. Miraculous.

 

But, let’s consider 2 nouns: theChurch and theKnowledge, both nouns and both words of power, but the vibrations and reverberations resonate conscientiously when the etymology of theWord is paid proper libation prior to using theWord.of

 

Take theWord and theChurch. In my Tribe, aChurch is a place (noun). Sure they ofChurch sojourn to make Church a SacredPlace; and, yes, you, AngryScientist/S (ASS), I understand that the actions of aChurch make you feel all funny inside. It’s scary when your insides act weird. It is also confusing when someone rattles the bars of your howler monkey cage. Confusing b/c your monkey howls as a pig squeals-really GD loud&screeching. Confusing because why is someone trying to mess with your dumb monkey anyway? You didn’t do sh1te to theChurch monkeys……yep..mmh… you didn’t start the monkey cage-shake heard round the world.

 

Hey! A.S.S. zip it & find your seats again – we’ll get to this grievance later.

 

In the Battle of the Word/s above -theChurch beats theKnowledge for better conjurgation and for careful symbolic construction: an adept found time and resources to draft blueprints for theConstruction of theChurch, a holy man being sought to lead the emergent micro-community sojourningItself-into-existence by its own bootstraps. The edification of 1 noun,  theChurch, is made real in the transient, physical domain as soon as construction is completed.

 

thePathÖtheReligios, say whatever else you wilt, but I readily acknowledge Impeccability/n’ Word to theChurch, and to hell with however apologetic that ASS, as well as his, “less zealously” inclined contemporaries think I should be for endeavoring to speak about Affairs/ÖAcademia in such a seedy establishment as Church: filled with all sorts of monkey-cage shaking, ignorant WhiteTrash and/or unreasonable, irrational people who (infuriatingly) refuse to acknowledge Logical Positivism.

 

No?! You don’t know what LP is? Well, color-me-shucked & shocked. Bless their hearts, Religioso and Academia (both oh so concerned with their super-deep and super-meaningful, self-proclaimed quests: to abide in love, compassion, and dispassionate reason in order to transcend to a higher understanding about our world) don’t feel guilty for not having actually deeply investigated all the axioms that hold your worldview together. Yeah, it turns out there’s more to it than being able to list the steps in the scientific method. But trust us, we’ve seen how hard you are trying these days. One person holding 2 screens that pump information at your eyeballs.

 

Ahem-what was I talking about?

 

You cannot have knowledge, but you can Know knowledge.  I see no apparent disingenuous intent in the initial assertion that the Earth was flat.  My thought being that maybe there were no alternative propositions competing with the idea of a flat Earth.  In fact, the idea of flat Earth was possessed by man unawares. It informed his reality but did so without his awareness. The possibility of an alternative did not yet exist, had not been considered.  

 

Let us stop for a moment, and examine our basic object of inquiry in the scenario above-Earth

 

If there is one thing public education taught me about writing it is this—–if you begin your paper with “Webster’s Dictionary defines [insert object of study here] as [copy the definition verbatim from the dictionary here]”  you are a good writer. All textbooks say that doing this is a credible way to introduce your topic.

 

Merrium-Webster’s Unabridged defines the planet Earth as………

 

Okay, so Merrium-Webster’s Unabridged defines earth.

 

And abruptly, I now find myself stumbling through

a particular region of the world; Or else in

areas of land uncovered by water; or else in

the sphere of mortal life comprising the world with its lands and seas as distinguished from spheres of spirit life; Or else in

the fragmental material composing part of the surface of the globe

 

And finally, now at last, in the fifth core sense of earth, Merrium-Webster’s Unabridged defines earth as “ [a word] often capitalized : the planet upon which we live and which being about 93 million miles from the sun is the third in order of distance from the sun and which having a diameter at the equator of 7927 miles is the fifth in size among the planets — see PLANET table.

 

So, my object of inquiry is the planet Earth: specifically, the often-capitalized, proper-noun status, fifth core sense of earth laid out by Merrium-Webster’s Unabridged.

 

When did my object of inquiry come into existence?

 

Since the Copernican revolution of the 16th century, thinkers have regarded Earth as a planet like the others of the solar system. First, some Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, proposes a Sun-centered model of the universe, next concurrent sea voyages begin providing proof that Earth is a globe, and lastly, some dude called Galileo goes and not only invents technology that allows him to peer far, far into the night sky, but also develops said technology into a physical telescope which he proceeds to look into, only to find himself seeing various other planets that appeared to be globes as well.

 

Wait, wait, wait, wait.  

 

Did I just say that the Earth came into existence in the 16 the century? Because, that does not sound right. The Earth has been around for….a long time.  My college professor James Bindon once told us, in class, that if you compress the amount of time the earth has existed (according the geological record) into a 12 month period of time, then humans would not have arrived at the global shindig until sometime after early morning on New Year’s Eve.  

 

To say that the planet Earth came into existence in the sixteenth century obviously feel to me to be resoundingly untrue and ridiculous.  

 

If someone told you that she had just today learned that the planet Earth came into existence in the sixteenth century, it does not seem unfair to imagine that you would be filled with confusion, disbelief, or think she was joking; because, surely no one would be avowing the verity of such a glaring and gross fallacy.  

 

I will.  I rebuke that assessment with great prejudice and here is why—-the diabolus of this conundrum does not dwell within my object of inquiry laid out above; this elusive diabolus dwells in the details-like those very long paragraphs of little, teeny-tiny words found at the bottom of the TV frame during commercials for car-sales events or pharmaceutical ads. This hidden diabolus whispers into my ear words and sentences filled with such axiomatic-like insistence that eventually I come to recite them all on my own. Constantly and involuntarily, in the manner of my heart’s beat and my eyelids’ blink, I catch myself silently singing the song of “all things are either true or not, right or incorrect, existence occurs in a void, you exist in that void too, that void is created by external boundaries which you will never surmount. There are truths about the things existing in the void with you, but they are knowable only from the other side of the walls which bind you within the void.”

 

My object of study-the planet Earth-(which I lay out with concise and explicit exposition above) is neither real nor unnatural, true nor false.

 

Here is how showing is different from saying.   

 

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Religion & Science- Can’t Parse This? 

The word ‘paragon’ entered the cultural consciousness in the 16th Century.

par·a·gon

ˈperəˌɡän/

noun

noun: paragon; plural noun: paragons

  1. a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality.

    “it would have taken a paragon of virtue not to feel viciously jealous”

Origin:

mid 16th century: from obsolete French, from Italian paragone ‘touchstone used to discriminate good (gold) from bad,’ from medieval Greek parakonē ‘whetstone.’Original Source

Three places show widely dispersed, common usage of words expressing the bones of ‘paragon’.

http://www.geographicguide.com/europe-maps/mediterranean.htm

1

Anyone who claims they don’t know the feeling of magic and terror that accompanies adolescence has surely forgotten.

My father completed his dissertation while I was a tyke; and, he, my Mom, and I lived in student apartments.  I have only happy memories of this time.

I also have memories of seeing my father’s work: a bunch of weird symbols strung together forming what appears to be some alien form of writing.  It was mathematical formulae, mathematical statements, mathematical symbols, constants, variables, imaginary, irrational.  It was like musical notation is to writing. It was magic.  I never saw most other adults using this language in my 3 year old, day to day goings on, so it was special magic.



The benefit of being in the same city as something like the University of Alabama is that nice, local intellectual atmosphere, lots of thinkers & questioners living within a very near physical proximity of one another and the local community    

Looking back, however, the intellectual milieu associated with the university’s presence was more tolerated than embraced by the local community and only under the implicit understanding that the university had better also produce some fine athletic feats for large groups of people to enjoy watching.

 Science is dangerous to religiousness in the South.

Scientific knowledge benefits mankind. It provides him a place in the world that is demarcating by very specific standards of measurement. It enables liberty of thought and provides the freedom to be wrong and not be ashamed. It is like music.  Can we say that music and evolution are incompatible?   Sure, but do we pat ourselves on the back when we say “apples are not oranges?”

Can we assert that science conceivably evokes that same sensation as that spiritual impulse that drives many to religion?

Eek, what an awkward thing to say.  Let me talk about that esoteric bit for a moment.  Religious texts frequently use moments of prophecying & revelation as themes associated with connecting to God/the divine: feeling the spirit; being touched; being moved; feeling grace, etc 

The feeling of magic and the experience of being in the presence of something aweinspiring, is one described and experienced by both those in Academia and those in religious groups.

Whatever you choose to term this feeling and whatever causal force with which you choose to associate it, the sensation experienced appears to be the same one. The physical feeling of connecting to God and that physical feeling experienced through elucidating hitherto unknown/unobserved phenomenona via scientific methods, might be the same sensation.  The actions of the mind have produced stimuli which the sense organs take in (like raw data into a computer) and convert into a physical and psychological experience via the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.

Speaking personally, as child I believed in God in a way that an young person believes in Santa, superficially until deeper contemplation occurred.  I have never heard God speak to me and am, in fact, quite jealous of those who ‘talk to the Lord’ or ‘hear Him.’

To those, I would ask-

 “Why not me?  I prayed as a child and did everything asked of me.  What did science do to you guys anyhow?

To those who benefit from experiencing His existence, your patience with the rest of us and with a unaffiliated like me.

I don’t think you should give up on science.  I also do not think you should take things so personally. Maybe some of us losers only know how to seek this “god” through scientific means (particularly,  those of us who do not hear His voice).  Well, if God does exist, God does not have to be knowable through science nor does He have to reveal himself to me.  He could judge me for trying to see my world scientifically, but I would say that to not have tried to see my world through the paradigm of science would have been a blasphemous life for me.

  Beauty is subjective, eye of the beholder.  What I point to when I use the term ‘beautiful’ may not be the same as that to which you allude as beautiful.  But, that phenomenon to which we are referring-that thing of which the alluded to objects possess-is beauty; and, that thing, beauty, is fundamentally experienced via phenomenon basic to each and all of us, .

How do we talk and/or should we?  Does the animosity produce any observable or even foreseeable benefits?  Can we and/or should we be pragmatic?

These are honest questions.  I am not religious in the common sense.  I prefer to think I have moments of insight that feel larger or more infinite than I could previously have imagined, but they usual arrive when I work with science and logic, or read certain pieces of writing.

But then college, and physical anthropology and the sweet processes of inductive and deductive logic took hold of me. I have been moved emotionally upon reading x, actually creating a proof to show that there is no highest number, upon reading The Glass Bead Game…..
Can science and religion reconcile? And, if they can, to what gain

The most recognizable voices from the scientific community engaged in the evolution/creationist debate include Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Lawrence M. Krauss among others. These scientists take an offensive approach to those peoples and groups who would deny science’s authority as a way of defining the world.  They do this because of their belief that religious thought and reasoning are actively hurting our world. Now by ‘aggressive,’ I do not mean to imply these academics are threatening violence, nor are they harassing individuals unduly, but they are aggressive.

Activity:   Please complete this sentence…

The aggressive scientist……

The subject of the sentence above does not resound with my individual conception of ‘scientists.’ Now, passionate, consumed, obsessed-these scientists I can imagine. But aggressive scientists?   None spring to mind, with the exception of those scientists whom have been deemed Militant Atheists (by their religiously inclined counterparts) and this vilification tactic began within the last ten to 20 years.

This raises fundamental questions for me like-

  1. When, if ever, should scientists antagonize those individuals refusing to accept the axioms of empiricism as true and assumable?  Does society require science to play the role of playground bully from time to time (remember Thomas Henry Huxley AKA Darwin’s Bulldog?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cientific discovery can be hazardous to one’s health

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A MEANING OF KNOWING

Both you and I, as separate individuals, come to know, respectively.

I will use the 1st person plural pronoun form us when discussing the internal process by which we all come to know something new.  All homo sapiens develop a perceptual  algorithmical apparatus that we derive for ourselves in an attempt to approximate our personal and internal/etic understanding of what it means to know a thing.  Unceasingly, all of us are trying to get as close as possible to a fuller, more elucidated map and definitions of the cultural domains of knowledge.  Another way to say cultural domain of knowledge is ‘those areas of semantic space within which meaning is culturally assigned to varying degrees relative scus to perceive pattern and meaning when presented with a veritable melee of assailing stimuli (soundwaves, air current, language,

WHAT IS MEANT BY KNOWING: (1)conversion of stimuli to sensation and the subsequent conversion of sensation to perception  the domains of knowledge that

The collective, interactive we, (we = the epiphenomenon occurring when you and I engage our individual intelligences (the cultural mores, our idiosyncratic constructions of all the cultural domains that comprise and inform our perceptual apparati) in meaningful ways.  

Noise is what initially occurs if I use only my words to communicate meaning to someone else and this someone only speaks languages completely foreign to me.

Talking is only accomplished if the speaker and listener are “on the same wave length.”

Talking is the doorway to another realm wherein meaning procreates (two individuals engage their individual perceptions and systems of perceiving.  The two individuals are taking a leap of faith and assuming that their respective, conscious worlds are sufficiently similar such that the listener is close enough in   , celebratory , consolidation, and I COME TO KNOW-MY UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT IS TO KNOW WHAT IS MEANT BY ANY GIVEN THING-REVELATION, FLUIDITY, PLACE HOLDERS AND SUBSTITUTE PLAYERS.  I COME TO KNOW CULTURAL DOMAINS OF COMMUNICATION (OF WHICH THERE ARE AN INFINITE NUMBER OF, FUZZILY BOUNDED SPACES COMPRISING INDIVIDUAL DOMAINS OF KNOWLEDGE.

1. .DOES KNOWLEDGE HAVE TO BE TRUE.

2. KNOWLEDGE IS OBTAINED YET ALREADY AND ALWAYS AFTER PRESENT IN ME.

  1. Of What “i” Know, I Know.

  2. Of What “i” think, I think, I think

  3. On Knowing what knowing means and what it means to Know.

  4. On Knowing how to Study Knowing

  5. Of Knowing what is means to know what it is to study knowing.

  6. Who is I the Knowing = You

    1. An observable I that can come to be known

    2. The Unknowable I, the experience of being

VII.    Our Perception: what “we” see is how “i” come to know

VIII.    What “we” cannot know

IIX.    What I Cannot Know.

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Aside No.l

Certainly a dog has more self-awareness than do insects.

A dog displays a sense of self during interactions with a dog pack.  A hierarchy exists within a pack and every member knows its position.  For this to occur, the dog must have an awareness of things existing outside and independent of itself. The dog must also conceptualize its life relative to the lives of other dogs.

A dog adjusts its own behavior in response to the behavior of another dog.  The two dogs are working together.  They are aware of their own existence and the existence of others.

The rules of the pack hierarchy are tacitly accepted, known, and enforced by all members of the pack. The dogs create something appearing quite similar to a little society-a system of interactions collectively conspiring to create a greater likelihood of survival and reproduction than pack members could expect were they to live alone.

Dogs seem to have selves because cooperation has been/is selected for in the milieus within which dogs exist/ed.  A dog does not have the faculty or facility for language, nor does it have an opposable thumb.  These are two things possessed by humans alone.  These are two things making us unique.  Yet still, the self-awareness of dogs seems of a different substance than your, mine and everyone else’s self-awareness.

I assert self-awareness is a condition required of mammals. I assert self-consciousness is a phenomenon separate from consciousness (i need to define consciousness here).  I assert that humans are the sole possessors of consciousness but that this is and always has been subject to change.  I proclaim self-awareness and its interactions with the reality in which it finds itself produced the conditions under which consciousness could arise.  I say human consciousness is the evolutionary product of self-awareness experiencing reality through sensory organs.  Further, it was these interactions occurring within the valleys and peaks of a very, particular fitness landscape and that these interactions, over time, created a milieu in which it was advantageous to have a more refined and intuitive awareness of self and the local environment.  By advantageous, I mean, a more sophisticated self-awareness created more opportunities for survival until a reproductive age, more opportunities to reproduce at that age, and a better ability to ensure the survival and health of offspring until they grew.l  

I proclaim that self-awareness enabled society.  But it was the complex system of interactions occurring between and among the social structures of a society and the humans whose interactions make up that society, which selected for the phenomenon which we call human consciousness.

Self-awareness led to society and society led to increased and more refined self-awareness.  The further interactions of selves and society produced a complex system whose interactions resulted in the two novel epiphenomena we call “culture” and “consciousness.”

The R&D Man at the Station

He’s slim in silver:

Dark glasses and ten thousand LP`s, EP`s, and CD’s.

He plucked my disc, but I beseeched “can we be sure yet?”

What he said I cannot be sure

but it was either/or “you surely are / you surely are not on reorder.

Disingenuity

Smiles steeped in stillness;

superiority situated in silence.

It is tart, so, pucker up.

Pardoning your progress–

and your precious predilections.

Prefer perforation

Seration from your own sermon, please.

Paragons are only prerogatives.

Peter Straub. THE HELLFIRE CLUB

For God’s sake, the whole thing has to be retyped, but you asked to see it, remember, so I gave it to you as is, this is so obvious, but anybody can read a book after it’s published, thst’s hardly the point, I want yo hear what you have to say…

Dispassion

Regardless of whether it is out- or en-, sometimes I feel rage(d).

When I am enraged, it is my ego shouting at feeling an offense. This may be vanity and thus to pursue it might be (in) vain.

When I am outraged, I act dispassionately to learn more. This does not feel like ego.

Dispassion in crisis is not the same as apathy.

A Sticky Catharsis

So simply yet well-put. Thank you for sharing.

Unlearning

IMG_7986

It all started with a hoodie and my son’s unyielding refusal to remove it from his head. The day, which began like so many others, quickly evolved into a battle of wills. With our son we have learned that attitudes and physical discomfort go hand-in-hand, but, at least in this case, there was no external sign of illness.

We made his final preparations for preschool and silently offered a prayer for his teachers.

[Interlude]

As soon as I pulled into our garage after school that day, my son dashed to the backyard, grabbed the largest stick he could hold, and began hitting a nearby tree with all of the force his svelte body could muster. His hoodie may have been the color of ashes, but there was clearly a fire burning within my child.

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