We find ourselves, to our amazement, in a time of most peculiar famine. We are unbearably hungry: immeasurably, compulsively hungry. Small as we are, we crave, and crave only, to swallow the infinite, to ensnare the entire universe and hold it to ourselves, a wracked, starved lifeless thing to clasp to our hearts. But a place to call our own, nonetheless.

Model scientists and theoreticians that we are, we have begun again to believe, with the vacant-eyed trust of children, in magic. More precisely, we believe in magic words ... thinking makes it so, saying so makes it so. Amen. So let it be. Except, our magic words are a little more mundane, a good deal less sonorous and elegant, than those of the ancients. In the end, we believe so much in our etiolated spells, our nauseatingly ceaseless mantras, that there is little but them left. They, and we with them, have come adrift from the world. We have slipped our moorings, and we are trying to find our nutrition, not in the dirt-encrusted, fetid vegetation of the bastard, orphan earth, but in air and vapour. We are exiles in the sky. We feast on clouds, and try to think our stomachs filled.

So we climb, and climb, and climb. The landscape cannot be left idly to bask in its own disturbingly contented suchness any more: one mountain must be laid on top of another. And we must believe ourselves giants, and climb. We forever see the boundary of the universe within our reach, but as we grasp at it with our miniscule, translucent hands, with their insulting and tasteless stench of finitude, it moves a pace further on. That on which we climb, it has to be said, is alien to substance - it is of the ether, evanescent, and, though we pretend not to know it, its breath-held fragility cracks beneath our ascending feet. With our magic words, we try to cover its decay ... thinking makes it so, saying so makes it so. Amen. So let it be. What need have we of earthly mortar when we have magic at our fingertips, or, rather, on the tips of our tongues? And magic can consume infinity. Those little words, those quiet articulations, are a void that can hold within themselves the whole of existence. And so we talk, and talk, and talk ... and we are talking only to ourselves.

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