[ by Charles Cameron — sorry, medical events slowed this one down a bit, hope it’s still of interest ]
The revised pitch
Navigating spaces where the two become one / the one blossoms into two, we run into the basic problem of nouns or pronouns matching verbs, singular or plural. This is the Korean conundrum in a nutshell (or koan). Let’s take a flier at another version, then zero in on ground zero, the DMZ.
My mind had turned to goalposts, which plenty of people have said are moving, or have been moved, and I thought I discerned a pattern in which two sets of goalposts were one and the same — yet opposite.
Thy goalposts shall be my goalposts
From which I slipped gears and came to “thy goalposts shall be my goalposts” as a formula for success in our negotiations with Kim Jong Un — and that came from a very similar rhythm or cadence — a blueprint, almost — in the Old Testament / Tanakh book of Ruth.
But Ruth replied:
Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.
It doesn’t much matter if you know the context, or care or don’t care for religious writings, or just older forms of the lanuagee. In this paragraph, the two are inseparables — one, by will and love.
Will and love matter, as in their lsser ways do rhythms, cadences, and blueprints.
The goal is / the goalposts are: denuclearization.
At opposite ends of the field — or are they back to back, in the very heart of the DMZ? — the Koreans would no doubt like the shadow of American nukes off the peninsular. And playing the exact same game, going after the exact same goalposts, the US would clearly like Pyongyang to cease and desist all efforts towards maintaining or strengthening North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability.
Hey, both sides want denuclearization, right? Denuclearization equals denuclearization, right? Easy?
Let’s just pray denuclearization and denuclearization don’t cancel out in a mutual holocaust, eh?
C’mon, there’s only twone goalpost, aren’t there?