today i had to go through a very long list of emails. most of them were automatic replies (to our newsletter) that informed the recipient about the absense of the email destinataire. even though my hangover and the summer heat were mostly determining my rather underaverage condition, it was an interesting activity and i like the idea of collecting these emails.
the idea is appealing because while notifying people about your absense is, in terms of pragmatics, a relatively vague scenario, it’s a common core to hundreds of messages in which people put it in different words (and languages). i’ve seen messages with one single short sentence and i’ve seen paragraphs of information. some people tried to be witty, while other people did not really bother.
i had to think of how many automatic replies might be roaming around in the cables of The Internet at this very moment, how many people might return to their offices on 19th of august, how ridiculously large the overall amount of emails should be.
The Tao masters of antiquity
Subtle wonders through mystery
Depths that cannot be discerned
Because one cannot discern them
Therefore one is forced to describe the appearance
Hesitant, like crossing a wintry river
Cautious, like fearing four neighbors
Solemn, like a guest
Loose, like ice about to melt
Genuine, like plain wood
Open, like a valley
Opaque, like muddy water
Who can be muddled yet desist
In stillness gradually become clear?
Who can be serene yet persist
In motion gradually come alive?
One who holds this Tao does not wish to be overfilled
Because one is not overfilled
Therefore one can preserve and not create anew