Leonhardt Conspiguous would have known the difference. Between, say, BWV 161 and BWV 173; or a trunk or tail if he’d been born a blind mouse. LC always knew the differences. But he found similarities difficult to trace.
In conversation Leonhardt once encountered a man who’d read the entirety of his library, (the titles so resembling his own as to appear indistinguishable), drawing the same conclusions as LC in the shared vocabulary. LC was unable to devise a category or designation for this phenomenon. It was like looking in Leona’s eyes.
A concave lens forms a sphere of reflection, and hers – of grey of green of blue – mimicked Leonhardt’s so completely both in color and tone, that he’d instantly felt something farther back, back behind, any place he’d ever felt before. In himself or another. As time went on and her desire gained in details – their fancies so colluded he could not decipher whose were which – not in content nor expression. The similarities baffled him. And frightened.
But Hunter Green from Forest? LC would know even the percentages and numbers. Like every kind of sparrow, every human’s skin.
Leonhardt believed that what we come to know is inherently unique, but that same is imperceptible. What startles us in those with whom we feel alike, is not the magnitude of what we hold in common, but how specifically each possesses it. “To see eye to eye,” in Leona’s case, made visceral sense to him, but could not be understood. “To see in or around” is what he labeled “comprehension.”
LC could see no further “in” to his cherished love Leona, than he could see within himself. Which to some seemed deftly nuanced and unusually deep, but that was due to fierce attention and lots of time and mass filigrees of distinctions, not, Leonhardt insisted, to understanding. “To analyze parts and fragments, was not to know a whole,” he was fond of telling himself, “and our lives are composed of fragments.” Like arranging jigsaw pieces, separating by color and cut and number, and believing that they might fit, still never solved a puzzle, where new pieces are added all the while.
LC believed there was no whole, as far as humans perceived, just incalculable myriads of pieces arranged, rearranged, created/forgotten, damaged or lost in their fires.
He could never explain Leona. Or synchronicity. “Terms such as these synonym mystery,” he would say, “and should be kept in careful silence.”
LC despised religion. The compulsion of the concocting of names, he called it. A disease, an impatience, an anxiety of what is unknown. Shuffling a hat full of vowels and consonants we look for what sounds as strange as our experience and assign it that – that which is odd to our senses, things we describe can’t explain. A crapshoot or fancy, an oracle of chance. Presuppositions he heartily derided.
We were left with description, he thought. Of Leonard (his friend of shared library and thought) LC reported the odd sensation of someone other speaking words that more nearly matched one’s own ideas than the terms oneself could find. And Leona, well, Leona. Leonhardt preferred to call her by her body parts or textures, her language or beliefs, “Leona” ringing to him of the mystically unexplained, uncomfortable talisman, as if he were mumbling “YHWH” or “Zeus,” “Santa” or “Satan” or “Venus.”
(to be continued? you decide…)