Infinite Placeholder Regress


I have limited time and space to write right now, so I’m just going to write a little post-it as a placeholder pointing toward some grander and more meaningful endeavor. I’ve just spent thirty-one words saying that I’m not actually going to say anything. And now forty-six. 50. Gotta break out of this infinite regress.

Actually, the first target of this [piece, which is an] infinite reflection pointer is to a potential standalone publication, “Infinite Regress, Column One.” The original plan was for that column to be what you are reading now, but it grew into an ungainly beast which the Gods of the new, evolving ecosystem, Tandeta, wisely decided to place in its own cage.

But I’m happy to announce that the caged piece that this placeholder is pointing to is itself a placeholder for my grander dreams of conquering my own internal world. As is true for much writing, writing the piece was a chance for the author (me) to have self-therapeutic epiphanies, with the vain hope that the broader world will look on and gain some sort of edification or bemusement, or at least the compulsion to look at a train wreck.

And this internal-world conquering dream is just a timid placeholder for a dream of having a positive effect on the external world, going beyond myself to my loved ones, to this lovely, new Tandeta community, and on to ever-growing circles of compassion, and caring, and reason.

Now that I have given you a glimpse of the windows looking out from my personal cage of solipsistic abstraction—one looking inward at an infinitely shrinking set of reflections, from essays, down to paragraphs, down to pre-ideas; and one looking outward and infinitely growing, from the problems of one small man to the conundrums that God struggles with—I will close with a poem [if I can call it that without insulting true poets] that I wrote several days ago as an exercise in a three-hour class, “Introduction to Writing to Heal,” which was taught through Grub Street by Jennifer Krystal.

The poem has six stanzas of six lines each, giving thirty-six lines total, a number of religious significance to me, but that’s another story. . .


I thought I was living in the after-times.
After I had spoken with God,
I had special knowledge.
It couldn’t be crazy.
It had to be a gift.
So I made it a gift.

I committed myself.
I promised to follow through.
I wrote a note in the “special box of special teachings”
that my father had set up for my kids.
When I tried hard, but missed the mark,
I still said I had fulfilled my vow, in a way.

And yet God would not take me back.
He leaves me here to keep trying.
And I have to invent the after after-time.
With no guidance.
Just hints to glean from the before-time and the before-after-after-time.
Where should I head in the landscape of existence?

One constant remains.
I know I am different.
Just like everyone is.
We can’t go back;
we know our struggle now;
we don’t know where to go.

Others have paths paved with human connection.
Maybe they use God for guidance too.
What would I know?
I think healing myself will give
special hints for healing the world,
bringing the kingdom of God on earth, or science nirvana, or question mark.

Help me.
Help me to help others to help me.
Help me to help others.
Help others.
Sigh and go on.

~ Scott Axelrod ~