September 15, 2016

Forever will not be solved with algebra but with geometry, not with ideas but with things. Even an infinity symbol can be traversed by a single line drawn right. Even the scratchiest record can't skip forever, even the moldiest peach can only decay for so long. Eventually, there is an end to discord, a return to either harmony or silence. After the end credits, there is still the clatter of film against reel, of a machine waiting to be turned off. There is still the need for agency, for someone to help bring everything to a satisfying finale before the lights can come back on.
Matt Bell, from "Ten Scenes from a Movie Called Mercy".
I worry this passage is more evocative than sensible, or internally consistent, but I kind of love it.
Cross-cultural studies of parenting along with the promise, or threat, that in kids come across fine with a bunch of different styles applied, there's no one right way to do it.